“My folks all came from small towns, Livingston and Benld. I was born in Belleville, raised in Collinsville.

“Some people can pack up and leave as soon as they graduate from high school or college and never look back. Me and my wife were never like that.

“This is our life. Our whole life, we’ve been here. But we sat down and came to the conclusion that we can’t afford not to move.

“I’d love to stay. I don’t want to move. We had no intentions of moving when we built this house 10 years ago. If I leave, I’ll never come back. I won’t do it again. We always said when we built this house this is it. And here we are looking at possibly going bye-bye.

“I really don’t know too many people that are going to stay here… people are noticing they’re getting taxed by everywhere, from Madison County up to Madigan. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that you can’t keep taxing everybody when you’re taxing them into the ground.

“I pay more attention to [policy and politics] now because I’m 51. I don’t want to be 80 years old and retiring, I don’t want to be 70. Now we’re starting to look at all this stuff that we’re seeing that’s coming out with the taxes, and my wife and me are saying enough. Where do you draw the line at? Enough is enough.

“We’re like a loose tooth that’s hanging by a thread. We don’t want to leave but we’re being pushed out.”

Mark Kucinick
St. Jacob, Illinois