“I’m moving to Memphis. Gone after Easter dinner.
“I was born and raised here in the Chicago area. I’ve watched it change. If you’re not watching and you don’t have an objective view around you or you just shut it off, you don’t notice these subtle changes.
“In the last 10 years I’ve gotten significantly more engaged. I always knew that my taxes were going up – particularly my property taxes – but I’ve realized just how quickly they’ve accelerated in the past few years. I keep looking at the breakdown of my tax bill, but it doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t really tell me what the money is going to. Where’s it all going and how do I stop that? I can’t. It’s frustrating.
“[The progressive tax proposal] is ridiculous. They present it as a “fair tax.” If everyone was charged the same percentage, that’s what’s fair. But that’s not fair to [politicians].
“If you need to charge me more in taxes, explain to me how you’re going to reduce spending. Just to balance the budget. I understand Illinois is in debt but find a way to reduce spending. Don’t just say we’re going to spend more.
“We can barely pay our bills. [My wife and I] are both professionals and make plenty of money. So why is it so hard?
“I was looking for new jobs and it got to the point where I stopped caring about Illinois. I was looking at a few states. Tennessee, Florida … all these states had low tax burdens.
“It was a no brainer. I’ll actually have more money moving to Memphis. I’m getting a 20 percent raise over what I was making here, plus no income tax so it’s a 25 percent increase over the new income. And I won’t be paying the property taxes that I am here. Cost of living goes way down.
“My family is here. My parents live in Franklin Park. I’ve got cousins in Elmhurst. All my friends are here. It’ll bother me a little. But I was in the service and I was away for four years and I was fine.
“I’m not coming back to Illinois.”
Oak Park, Illinois