“I was born and raised in Illinois. I grew up in the suburbs and in 2001, just before 9/11, I joined the Army.”

“I served two tours and returned from the military in 2006. I chose to attend college in Illinois, and I have been really thankful for the opportunities that the state provided me as a veteran.”

“When I went to school, as a recipient of the Illinois Veterans Grant and the Montgomery G.I. Bill, 100% of my tuition was covered and I received a small stipend to go to school.”

“Illinois was the only state which allowed veterans to combine funds, so it made sense to move from Georgia to Illinois for school.”

“I could have very easily stayed in Georgia.”

“When I retired from the Army, there were many job opportunities. Even if I didn’t go to school, I could have joined the job force right away.”

“But now that I have my education, those opportunities are becoming increasingly limited.”

“I wouldn’t be where I am without what the state provided in terms of my education, but I am looking to try to buy a house right now, and I can’t see a reason to buy in Illinois.”

“When you take into consideration the taxes, income tax and property taxes especially, it’s really unfortunate to realize that they are very high because of how the pension system works. A large majority of our taxes go to pay for, essentially, a long-term mistake.”

“Raising taxes won’t solve the problem, because people who can afford to move will simply move out of state. Cutting services to pay the pensions will also drive people to relocate to a state with better roads, for example, or suffer because they can’t move.”

“In the past few years, more and more friends and family have been moving to different parts of this country to seek better opportunities.”

“Around 2007, my sister moved to Indiana. Very recently, my mom and my aunt also moved to Indiana.”

“My mom couldn’t retire in this state due to the tax rates, specifically property taxes.”

“She could not afford to pay her mortgage and property taxes as a retiree in the state of Illinois. To contrast, if she pays off a home in Indiana with a tax bill of only $4,000 a year, she can still afford to live on a retirement very comfortably.”

“She’s getting to be that age where she can’t put any more into retirement. What she has saved is what she has. And if the taxes are high or continue rising, she will have less money to live on.”

“My mom doesn’t have a private pension, either. Just a private retirement. High taxes cut into her savings, and that is all she has.”

“She’s worked and paid taxes her entire life. I don’t blame her for being angry about the tax situation in Illinois.”

“I feel like I would be doing a disservice to the Illinoisans who can’t afford to leave if I were to follow my family members and move out of state.”

“As more family and friends leave, the question becomes even harder to answer: ‘Why are you staying here?’”

“My best answer is: ‘I think it’s still worth the fight.’”

Robert Hill
Territory sales manager
DeKalb, Illinois