Despite exodus from state, Jonas not giving up hope
As sobering as the news is of an IRS study that found more than 86,000 people leaving Illinois at a cost of nearly $5 billion in adjusted gross income over just a year’s time, Jonas Petty said it’s to be expected.
“I think the study reflects what we already know,” Petty of Pittsfield told the West Central Reporter. “We feel that pressure every day, especially homeowners, those with two, three kids. The state just puts on more tax pressure.”
Petty, who is running in the Republican primary against Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) in the 100th House District, said the final straw for taxpayers is being left to feel that they’re being totally taken advantage of.
"What moves one to leave is these taxes aren’t getting any better results,” he said. “When you’re paying and not getting anything. ... Politicians want to talk about all the money we can put in, but what about what the results are.”
A recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute survey found that nearly 50 percent of all Illinois residents now want to leave the state, with runaway taxes being cited as the No. 1 reason.
Data composed by the IRS also found the cash-strapped state experienced a loss of nearly 42,000 tax returns to other states over 2015-16, equating to an all-time high in lost exemptions.
Researchers noted millennials are leading the charge for greener pastures, with the top 10 states to which Illinois lost population being Florida (12,800 exemptions gained from Illinois on net), Texas (9,400), Indiana (8,200), California (7,600), Arizona (6,400), Wisconsin (6,000), Colorado (4,700), Georgia (4,200), Tennessee (3,600) and North Carolina (2,700).
“As someone who’s put their name on the ballot, I haven’t given up hope,” Petty said. “Hope is different from optimism because it’s based on what you’re willing to put in and I’m ready to work.”
Petty said the public must also be willing to do its part to bring real change to Springfield.
“In 2018, we could have the largest legislative turnover in state history,” he said. “There is help on way, but voters have to do their part by getting out to vote and meeting us halfway.”
The 100th House District includes all or parts of Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon and Scott counties.