What should Illinois do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to keep residents from leaving?

General

The significant turnover in state legislators this coming election season provides an opportunity to save Illinois from bankruptcy. Number one priority of our government (Illinois House, Illinois Senate and Governor) should be to reduce our wasteful spending and pass a balanced budget as required by the Illinois State Constitution.

I don't think there is anything the state can do in the next 12 months to stop the outflow. I think a percentage of the population has made up its mind to leave and plans have been put in motion. (i.e. "I asked for a transfer"); ("Once my daughter graduates high school"); ("I'm listing my house in the Spring"). But, if we were having this conversation 3 years from now and collectively we were to look back on those 3 years, what must happen for IL to feel good about the progress coming out of Springfield? Pension and property tax reform.

State government needs a hard cap on spending so we can get our state's finances under control and reduce our tax burden responsibly over time. Homeowners deserve property tax reform so they aren't faced with property tax increases year after year. Additionally, that reform should empower counties, towns, and school districts with less mandates so they can cut costs, while voters have a say in what the tax levy should actually be. Perhaps most importantly, we need good government reforms that fight against corruption and restore voter faith in state government, through policies like term limits or redistricting reform. If voters feel like they actually have a say in what happens in Springfield, they will be more likely to stay in Illinois and actually work to change the system, rather than pack up their things and move to other states.

I am going to Springfield to work on legislation to place a 1% cap on property taxes as a percent of home value to protect our families' most important investment. Currently, our neighboring state Indiana has enacted similar legislation, and we are losing families to neighboring states like Indiana who are working to lower property tax rates for families and businesses. This legislation will keep families from leaving and will make Illinois a destination state.

My primary opponent has been on the local school board since I was an elementary student. Over her long school board career, my opponent has continually approved "Cadillac Pensions" at a time when taxpayers are being taxed at some of the highest rate in the nation, while our current State Representative Michelle Mussman has supported 18 failed pieces of legislation to freeze property taxes. I am running so that we have representation that stands up for families in my community and takes action to protect their home values.

Although this is the JOBS section of this questionnaire, it focuses on a perceived exodus of Illinois residents. It has not been demonstrated to me that the exodus is the problem. For all I know, those who are leaving may well have been a burden to the state. We have, just like many other states, many people who would like to hold onto more of the money that is taken from them through taxation. Some tax reform may be helpful, and I will consider tax changes that establish a graduated income tax and relieve the heavy burden of property taxes. I would sponsor a constitutional amendment that makes progressive income tax rates a part of the solution.

Obviously we need to quit playing chicken with the budget. Real people get hurt, and we create inexcusable uncertainty. But I sense that you're really looking for a choice between cutting taxes or increasing services. In that case, I come down on the side of the latter. Tax levels are, in my opinion, only one factor in the decision of where to locate. Other, more important factors include the quality of infrastructure, the quality of the workforce, the overall economic climate, quality of life, and so on. Illinois has much to offer in these areas, especially with the cultural and economic engine of Chicago, and it would really be a shame to diminish that in the name of lowering taxes.

There is much speculation as to the causes of this exodus. However, it is clear that the recent state budget impasse, partisanship and gridlock, coupled with the largest unfunded pension liability adversely effects Illinois' reputation. As a result of budget woes, social service agencies closed or threatened closure, the state's bond rating teetered near junk bond status, some public universities nearly closed, job growth suffered, businesses closed, and Illinois was in the national press which undoubtedly daunted and daunts potential newcomers and current citizens. Because of the funding shortfalls caused by various reasons, vulnerable and needy citizens have required even more state assistance. It was widely reported that Illinois college students fled to nearby border states (and were recruited to them) for fear of losing or not obtaining grants for their education.

The past few years' cessation of the temporary modest income tax had disastrous results for the state, prompting criticism even from some fiscal conservatives. State services and its standing were put in great peril as a result of insufficient funds for critical government functions and the political situation among lawmakers and the Governor. Public ill will over partisan bickering and the failure of the elected officials to craft a timely budget for several years harmed (perhaps irreparably) the state on multiple levels. The state garnered much negative publicity from various entities and the Governor was widely criticized for his failure to effectively govern and the House Speaker was blamed for years of state problems. A toxic environment in which to govern, lead and attract people to Illinois ensued that was not conducive to attracting and retaining residents.

Illinois, again, has a revenue problem. Tax increases are not popular among elected officials or the public and political considerations factor into tax and other policy matters. I would advocate for a graduated progressive personal income tax. As previously stated, Illinois' income tax is much lower than even nearby states. The last state budget lifted the expiration on the temporary small income tax increase and was critical to the success of the state. I would look at proposals such as expanding the sales tax base to include consumer services or phasing in a retirement income tax (with relief for low income or fixed income seniors). Reportedly, Illinois is one of only 3 states that do not tax retirement income. Corporate tax loopholes should be scrutinized and closed, but the business climate and cost of doing business and navigating hurdles in business must be improved.

The Chicago Public School system is often in the news with regard to its funding and the public school system was not fairly funded. Property taxes in some areas are too high and job creation has been woefully stagnant. Bold job creation and retention strategies must be explored, and tax payments examined to assure that they provide public benefits and retained only if so.

We may be at the point that we will need to provide tax incentives for new teachers, new small business owners and new homeowners. And we need a progressive tax system.

We may be at the point that we will need to provide tax incentives for new teachers, new small business owners and new homeowners. And we need a progressive tax system.

We need to reduce business costs by reducing corporate taxes and regulations. We also need to reform the multiple layers of local government as far as property taxes go.

Sadly, state government is in a difficult position due to reckless spending and promises that politicians couldn't keep. The goal should be to reduce tax rates on businesses, especially new small businesses, whether that be in the short or long term. I also applaud recent legislation which reduced registration fees for LLC's and corporations in the state. We could even go farther and eliminate filing fees for first time business owners. I also know numerous examples of people who have registered their LLC's in other states, like Delaware, though they continue to operate in Illinois. We could incentivize them to formally bring those businesses to Illinois. We could also get creative, and team with the Small Business Administration to help subsidize additional low interest loans for business startups to encourage entrepreneurship in the state.

Scrub the state budget to reduce expenditures, eliminate budget lines, reduce budget lines totals, review revenue from ineffective budget lines and move that revenue into more effective and impactful areas of state spending. These reductions in total expenses will require less tax dollars to operate our state. Then we should apply any budget savings to taxpayers in the form of lower taxes.

In addition to what has been set forth above, we need to roll back the income tax passed last summer as an initial income tax reform, reduce regulations and financial barriers to entry on new businesses, and enact a 1% flat property tax so that home equity is no longer being used as collateral for government operations.

This suggestion may be a little idealistic, but I think it is practical: We need to increase Illinois pride. This can start in Springfield with legislators being more honest, fair and more focused on our citizens by implementing the above suggestions, but I would also like to use a current department in the state to develop a pro-Illinois marketing campaign to promote Illinois' merits. We have a lot to be proud of in Illinois and we need to be more vocal in claiming it and reinforcing it much like Texas does their state pride. It may even include a semester of Illinois history in the schools and/or even the shape of Illinois or Abraham Lincoln to be on any new highway or bridge projects like is done in the Lone Star State.

We need to lower taxes in Illinois and implement reforms to make Illinois more attractive to prospective employers. Businesses are reluctant to move here because the taxes are too high and because costs such as workers' compensation costs are way too high. We need to make Illinois more business friendly. We also need to root out political corruption. The state should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. If we made our state more business friendly to everyone, we would not need to provide incentive deals to try to attract companies like Amazon. Political corruption is hurting our state and people are responding by leaving

First a property tax freeze so that residents are assured that things won't continue to escalate for a period of time.

Illinois politicians should prioritize spending so that our most vulnerable are taken care of and government is eliminated where it is unnecessary. As State Representative, my main concern will be to get our outrageous spending under control, properly fund education, repair our infrastructure, pay our debts before taking on any new projects, and make our state more attractive to families and businesses.

As outlined above, residents are leaving because Illinois needs fundamental changes at all levels. We need to start by implementing government reforms that will help control costs, enact tax and regulatory policy changes - including worker's compensation reform and property tax relief - that will help grow jobs. We need to grow jobs instead of the income tax rate. And yes, we need political reforms that will help restore residents' confidence in their government.

As discussed above, Illinois ought to pursue lower taxes and total reform of state government. In regards to property taxes, Illinois homeowners deserve a property tax freeze, so they can plan their family budget, but the ultimate goal should be property tax relief that lowers their yearly tax bill. To reduce costs to local units of government, we should make it easier to consolidate duplicative government services while easing unfunded mandates from Springfield. Local units of government ought to be free to manage their own affairs to create jobs and offer services, but limited in their ability to collect tax revenue.

Madigan's 32% tax hike should be responsibly rolled back over time as well. Lawmakers recently hiked taxes without any structural reforms to state government. Not only do I believe that it is wrong, I believe it is irresponsible and will lead to further out-migration. Springfield should limit spending and live within its means, not continue to choose tax hikes over reform.

No response provided.

We need to create jobs. We have plenty that needs doing. The State of Illinois needs to shake off the myth that big government is bad. That was pushed by private companies that wanted to take our taxpayer revenue for skimping on services that we need. We should have Illinois be the employer and control the spending that way and increase good jobs at the same time.

Government should be making it easier for families to live in Illinois, not harder. We need to work to lower the cost of living for working families, create jobs, and grow the economy to keep our families here at home. A temporary property tax freeze, a permanent 1.0% cap on property taxes, and streamlining the process to consolidate local units of government are just a few of the many possible solutions to make Illinois a more attractive place to live and raise a family. Additionally, young professionals and families need a voice in Illinois government, and that is what I hope to provide should I be elected.

Former citizens of Illinois have described their thoughts regarding our tax policy by putting their houses up for sale, packing up their family and belongings, and moving to states where there are more opportunities to flourish. We have to pass true reforms that entice good job creation here in Illinois which will stop good people from leaving this state and encourage many to move back.

I think that the first thing that needs to happen is the 32% tax increase from last year's budget bill needs to be repealed. This would put the money back in the pockets of the hard working taxpayers. The second thing that needs to happen is that we need to put a 1% hard cap on property taxes. This would again give families a reason to stay knowing that there taxes on their property would not continue to go up every year.

We need to lower taxes, reduce business regulations, implement lawsuit reforms and other reforms to make Illinois a more business friendly state. If we have more jobs - we will be able to keep our people.

We need to take a step back and consider how to make Illinois compete in the market. Perhaps instead of raising taxes, we can consider lowering some taxes to encourage more transactions in the state; we need to make our government run more efficiently so we can lower our taxes; we need to implement ways to bring in alternative sources of revenue so we stop relying on tax increases to support our budget and we need to create an environment to encourage and foster job growth and a burgeoning economy. Most importantly, we have to run a government that actually promotes the people's best interests and is not based on campaigning or deceitful legislation or predatory legislation. We can't do anything about the weather (except maybe pollute less).

Illinois should continue to invest in itself. As aforementioned, we need to reform our tax code by instituting a graduated income tax structure and eliminating corporate loopholes. We need to invest in working families by increasing the minimum wage, providing the opportunity for folks to earn paid sick leave, and move forward on other policies that will improve their standard of living and incentive them to stay in Illinois.

We have elite higher education institutions in Illinois, and we must continue to keep them at elite levels. We have Chicago, one of the best cities in the world, which has been seeing substantial economic growth in recent years. We must make sure that we continue to invest and protect the strides that have been made. But we also need to be a state that people want to stay in and people want to come to. We are already seeing that Chicago is this, but we need to make sure that the rest of the state is the same.

Stabilize tax policy for some period of time, freeze or reduce property taxes. Further, seek spending efficiencies at the State and local levels, improve job training (one way is to fully engage our community colleges), reduce violence, improve our schools and provide property tax relief.

First and foremost, Illinois needs to demonstrate fiscal stability. That means we need stable revenue sources, rational budget processes, pragmatic plan to pay our debt and pension obligations and stable funding for our human services and higher education. We also need to promote job creation in various ways, including investment in clean energy and recycling technologies, and free college, especially for those highly promising students who otherwise cannot afford it. The state should also create a program similar to the federal first-time home buyer tax credit. If first-time homebuyers agree to stay in their home for 5 years; they should receive a tax credit from the state. Likewise, the state should consider a tax credit for young college graduates who remain in the state to work.

Public safety is also part of this equation. Gun violence on our streets contributes to an exodus not only from Chicago, but sometimes from the state. Violence likely impacts not just those who are directly affected by it, but could be a compounding negative factor for those who are feeling negative about their prospects in Illinois for other reasons. At the state level, this requires more attention to cutting the flow of guns into the wrong hands.

We must adopt a FAIR income tax system so that the very wealthy in IL are paying their fair share of the burden. We should implement a long-term plan to pay down debt, maintain infrastructure, and invest in our public education system- pre-K through college- so that we have an educated work force. Much of the population loss has been college-age students, like my own children who have chosen to attend college out of state because we have allowed our state university system to be crippled by the budget impasse. Once these talented young people leave Illinois, it is unlikely they will return. Legalizing recreational marijuana could unleash an economic boom like it has in Colorado, where many of our young people have chosen to relocate. As the state generates more revenue, we can begin to invest more in our local communities and reform the property tax system to relieve homeowners of the substantial burden they now carry.

Illinois does best when it invests in people and infrastructure. In my experience, this is how we'll attract and retain business. When I was the general manager of a large mail order production facility, we considered moving out of state. We decided to stay, and not because of taxes and incentives; Texas offered us more than Illinois and is a lower wage state. We stayed because we had plentiful access to skilled labor from the area's pharmacy schools and tech programs and because Illinois is the transportation hub of the country. Investing in career and technical education, particularly in areas where industries have been leaving, can also be used to attract new industries to Illinois. States like Washington and Minnesota have proved that this approach works

The state of Illinois must work with local governments to roll back some of these fees that are hurting families and forcing them to leave the state. We need to look at policy solutions across the board to bring in new revenue streams and keep people moving into the city and staying here. I believe some of these new policies include a progressive income tax, a new casino for the city of Chicago, and the legalization and taxation of recreational marijuana.

The main thing that IL should do to keep residents from leaving is to address the above fears and to provide stability. Campaign finance reform is a big part of the solution. When knocking on doors to meet people in the district it is always so disheartening to find out how many people really have given up on any hope for honest government. They are convinced that all politicians (a term that means you are engaged in the affairs of the public, but has since become a dirty word) are dishonest, that they are in it to feed at the political trough. With many of them there is nothing you can say to change their minds. However, if we can elect more candidates such as myself that have sworn off campaign contributions from all special interests, then people will gradually begin to trust in the honesty of their government once again (or sadly, possibly for the first time).

The other main part of the solution is to be honest with people about the magnitude of the debt problem and then provide a solution that gives certainty and stability. I have been dismayed that many of the candidates for office still do not want to stress the magnitude of the problem. They feel that such truth never got anyone elected. But when I talk to the many people that tell me that they are intending to leave the state sooner or later, they understand that the problems are very real and many are worried that we are not going to be able to pull ourselves out of it. Some people tell me that they might not be averse to some service cuts or new taxes if they just had any confidence that the additional revenue was going to solve the long-term problem, i.e. to fund the pension debt. They might mention the lottery and how it did not do a lot for the education system. I really understand this fear. This is why we are going to have to be crystal clear in explaining the problem, and that additional funds are going to be paid directly to the pension debt, and that once this problem is satisfactorily addressed that taxes can then be reduced. It is painful in the short term, but I believe that the people of IL will agree to do it so long as they know that it will solve the problem.

The first step is the political elites in charge need to admit there is a problem with the number of people leaving Illinois. Too often, the political elite scoff at the notion that there is even a problem. People are leaving because taxes are too high and our political leaders do not care what their policies are doing to the people they represent. The cost of government and government services is simply too expensive. When citizens are "nickel-and-dimed" by taxes, fees, and burdensome regulations, they feel cheated, and will react accordingly.

Capping and lowering property taxes would be an important first step. Illinois residents need relief from taxes that are three times what Indiana residents pay for a home of the same value. This is the single most important step in stemming the tide of Illinoisans who are deciding to move as our residents are simply being priced out of their homes. Repealing the recent income tax increase would also help alleviate the huge burden on families. Aside from this, Illinois must also adopt reforms that give employers a reason to stay or develop in Illinois. The state government's open hostility to business and job-killing policies have hurt Illinois families and deprived them of their right to find employment and support their families. Illinois is also politically unstable compared to our neighbors, failing repeatedly to adopt reforms or pass balanced budgets. This reality, which is evident to anyone, drives residents and employers away fearing that the instability is intractable and will ultimately hurt their bottom line (which it will). The state cannot fail to pass a budget for any protracted period of time and must seriously pursue policies that improve the economic prospectus of the state and allay the deeply felt concerns of our creditors.

As stated before, get tax incentives to business that will bring jobs which will bring people in. People in Illinois have been taxed so long, it may be hard to bring people back to this state.

The first step is the political elites in charge need to admit there is a problem with the number of people leaving Illinois. Too often, the political elite scoff at the notion that there is even a problem. People are leaving because taxes are too high and our political leaders do not care what their policies are doing to the people they represent. The cost of government and government services is simply too expensive. When citizens are "nickel-and-dimed" by taxes, fees, and burdensome regulations, they feel cheated, and will react accordingly.

Capping and lowering property taxes would be an important first step. Illinois residents need relief from taxes that are three times what Indiana residents pay for a home of the same value. This is the single most important step in stemming the tide of Illinoisans who are deciding to move as our residents are simply being priced out of their homes. Repealing the recent income tax increase would also help alleviate the huge burden on families. Aside from this, Illinois must also adopt reforms that give employers a reason to stay or develop in Illinois. The state government's open hostility to business and job-killing policies have hurt Illinois families and deprived them of their right to find employment and support their families. Illinois is also politically unstable compared to our neighbors, failing repeatedly to adopt reforms or pass balanced budgets. This reality, which is evident to anyone, drives residents and employers away fearing that the instability is intractable and will ultimately hurt their bottom line (which it will). The state cannot fail to pass a budget for any protracted period of time and must seriously pursue policies that improve the economic prospectus of the state and allay the deeply felt concerns of our creditors.

Make it easier for business to do business and stay or relocate to Illinois, thus giving residents jobs and keeping residents in the state.

Make it easier for business to do business and stay or relocate to Illinois, thus giving residents jobs and keeping residents in the state.

Residents will stay if the quality of life improves. The state should work to improve transportation throughout the state, make housing and energy cost more affordable and support the arts.

Residents will stay if the quality of life improves. The state should work to improve transportation throughout the state, make housing and energy cost more affordable and support the arts.

Framing the issue as "keeping residents from leaving" does not accurately reflect the tiny percentage of population loss. The issue is, "How do we grow?" We know from experience that simply cutting taxes (and balancing budgets by slashing services) doesn't work — just look at Kansas. We need to reform our tax system so that it's fair, invest in our schools, and work on creating the infrastructure that modern businesses need.

Illinois should ensure quality education and training for all residents (see question below). We need to improve our transportation options, and make housing and energy more affordable. And it is critically important to stabilize Illinois finances, including financing of existing debt and needed investments, through new progressive revenue sources, debt financing and re-amortization, and smart spending. Finally, our young people are leaving Illinois to attend colleges and universities elsewhere. Once they do, it is likely that they will not return. Our universities need stable and predictable financial support, and our students need increased and stable MAP (Monetary Award Program) so that more of them can afford college.

Illinois should reform its antiquated revenue mix so that it conforms to the new services-based economy. And, Illinois' spending policies should be aimed at improving the lives of the people it serves. This means reinvesting in education, social services, infrastructure, vocational/job training and our greatest natural resource our people.

If we have the best school system in the country, people will crawl over themselves to move here. We have to invest in our schools and make it a great deal to have your child learn in Illinois.

Framing the issue as "keeping residents from leaving" does not accurately reflect the tiny percentage of population loss. The issue is, "How do we grow?" We know from experience that simply cutting taxes (and balancing budgets by slashing services) doesn't work — just look at Kansas. We need to reform our tax system so that it's fair, invest in our schools, and work on creating the infrastructure that modern businesses need.

Illinois should ensure quality education and training for all residents (see question below). We need to improve our transportation options, and make housing and energy more affordable. And it is critically important to stabilize Illinois finances, including financing of existing debt and needed investments, through new progressive revenue sources, debt financing and re-amortization, and smart spending. Finally, our young people are leaving Illinois to attend colleges and universities elsewhere. Once they do, it is likely that they will not return. Our universities need stable and predictable financial support, and our students need increased and stable MAP (Monetary Award Program) so that more of them can afford college.

Illinois should reform its antiquated revenue mix so that it conforms to the new services-based economy. And, Illinois' spending policies should be aimed at improving the lives of the people it serves. This means reinvesting in education, social services, infrastructure, vocational/job training and our greatest natural resource our people.

If we have the best school system in the country, people will crawl over themselves to move here. We have to invest in our schools and make it a great deal to have your child learn in Illinois.

Make property taxes equitable, pass a balanced budget, pass a progressive income tax, stop regressive taxation, invest in quality public education, recreation, and neighborhood development. Lastly, we should we should work with local legislators across the state to create equitable property tax reform.

We have to stop astronomical tax increases on everything. People are not only moving to neighboring states, but they're taking their business to those states as well. We need to increase incentives for supporting the businesses in our state instead of punishing people with more taxes.

1. Get state budgets in place that respect the residents, employees, and environment of the state.
Skilled jobs must be available, and we must be prepared to do them.
2. Ensure young people have strong education systems that prepare them for success in career and in life. Make sure education systems are funded, scholarships/supports that are promised are delivered, and that educators are preparing them for skilled jobs/careers.
3. No one wants to pay taxes, but we know our taxes support key services- from schools to trash pick up. Illinois must have a graduated tax system that ensures these services are equitably provided to all and that revenue to pay for them is equitably expected from all.

Make property taxes equitable, pass a balanced budget, pass a progressive income tax, stop regressive taxation, invest in quality public education, recreation, and neighborhood development. Lastly, we should we should work with local legislators across the state to create equitable property tax reform.

We have to stop astronomical tax increases on everything. People are not only moving to neighboring states, but they're taking their business to those states as well. We need to increase incentives for supporting the businesses in our state instead of punishing people with more taxes.

Lower Taxes

People want stability, and they want to see positive change. We need a graduated income tax that doesn't raise the burden on the middle class. We need to fully fund public schools, both K-12 and higher education. We need to fund human services and our social safety net fully and consistently. We need to pay down our bill backlog and pension liabilities. A lot more people would feel more comfortable staying in Illinois if they believed we had a real commitment to investment, improvement, and stability.

With what I said about college students leaving Illinois I think it is important that we give our universities the proper support and funding that they need. I also think we need to bring Illinois college recruiters to public high schools to market our universities to students. This is so important because it helps us build the new generation and it will help us keep more of the best and brightest young people here in Illinois not just for their academic careers but also their job careers beyond that.

With what I said about college students leaving Illinois I think it is important that we give our universities the proper support and funding that they need. I also think we need to bring Illinois college recruiters to public high schools to market our universities to students. This is so important because it helps us build the new generation and it will help us keep more of the best and brightest young people here in Illinois not just for their academic careers but also their job careers beyond that.

We have to figure out a way to increase revenues without penalizing our existing tax base. In order to keep residents from leaving, we have to also identify how to create significant jobs for black people in the areas mentioned above to help reverse the negative trends occurring in those places. We have to decide if we want black people working, leaving or imprisoned. I choose to stand in the fullest support of black people working and remaining to call Illinois home. If we can come up with dramatic solutions that are initiated in a radical and static way (and not incremental), then we will see the turnaround that almost everyone says is necessary.

We have to figure out a way to increase revenues without penalizing our existing tax base. In order to keep residents from leaving, we have to also identify how to create significant jobs for black people in the areas mentioned above to help reverse the negative trends occurring in those places. We have to decide if we want black people working, leaving or imprisoned. I choose to stand in the fullest support of black people working and remaining to call Illinois home. If we can come up with dramatic solutions that are initiated in a radical and static way (and not incremental), then we will see the turnaround that almost everyone says is necessary.

Reduce taxes and or offer tax incentives, create jobs, raise minimum wage.

I support tax cuts for the working class. I would immediately work to stabilize our colleges and community colleges and I would work with federal authorities to authorize DACA Dreamers, which would legitimize thousands of productive citizens. I would also push to ensure women are closing the pay gap in Illinois.

Promote growth in areas that make us strong -- agriculture, technology, medicine, finance, and environmental restoration.

Reduce taxes and or offer tax incentives, create jobs, raise minimum wage.

We should acknowledge that there are issues that have compiled over the years. We should be honest about the fact that if we fail to plan accordingly we will leave Illinois a far less attractive state for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Something must be done to at a minimum keep the residents we have from leaving while attracting others to Illinois.

We should explore where there is waste and eliminate it. We should cut spending without sacrificing core services. While we ultimately need new revenue (taxes) we have to be good stewards of the revenue and be responsible in making payments for our debt rather than allowing it to continually balloon. Generating more revenue without direction as to how that new revenue fits into an overall plan to get our state on the path to continued solvency is futile.

Illinois must get its financial house in order and settle on a workable budget that funds services and lowers the deficit. It should enact an equitable tax system (progressive income tax) and reign onerous property taxes.

Work to encourage small businesses by decreasing start up fees, reducing regulations and providing tax credits.

Encouraging business growth through tax incentives and operational assistance to small businesses, improving transportation infrastructure, revamping the property tax system such that it does not disproportionately tax low income and working class families, improving funding to public schools so the schools that needs the most resources get the help they need. These all will go a long way in encouraging residents to stay, to build a future for their families.

Illinois needs a progressive income tax. This will give millions of poor, working, and middle class families the tax breaks they need to re-focus their resources on saving, owning a home, and/or engaging in the kinds of commerce that will act as an engine to create jobs. We can also target infrastructure investments in communities of greatest need to serve as an injection of jobs, but also to create a sense of place for residents and appealing commercial areas where businesses want to locate.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity could do a much better job of helping small business development in local communities. There is little evidence that this agency and its resources ever find their way into the 25th district. As a representative I would work with DCEO to do business development that will bring jobs into the district.

There is no single set of policy actions that will unilaterally reverse this trend. It needs to be a combination of transparent, honest discussion about the state of our state, the consequences we face if we don't take action, and the range of options available. It takes leadership at all levels, and I want to be part of that leadership.

We need to ensure that our state universities are fully funded. The budget impasse of the past two years had a devastating impact on our colleges and universities. I hear parents complain that a growing number of places at our universities are being filled by students from outside the country who pay full tuition. While that is one way to fill a funding gap, it is not optimal. We need to ensure that there are places at all of our colleges and universities for Illinois students who want to attend. When funding is destabilized, students, parents and high school counselors look elsewhere. Illinois already does not tax retirement income. The most effective way to address property taxes is through stabilization of state revenues for the state to be able to pick up a greater share of the cost of educating Illinois' children.

First and foremost, Illinois needs a budget every single year to provide stability to our schools, providers, employers and residents. The instability and lack of predictability has created an environment that makes it hard for businesses and some residents to justify staying here.

Our state is in a crisis because of the pension fund. We can not roll back on taxes when we need more revenue. Ask your neighbors what they are willing to give up to lower their taxes. The answer is always nothing. People want public transportation, public schools, and services for their children, the elderly, and more. What we need are creative ways to gain more revenue like taxing marijuana. Once we tax and regulate marijuana we can create a new stream of revenue to support our state.

We must follow Ohio's example and get our finances in order by adopting the tenets of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act to make our spending transparent. By diverting dollars back into programs rather than pockets, we can attract jobs and raise our standard of living. We can show corporations and job builders that we are an honest place in which to conduct business. We also need a policy that prevents lawmakers such as Mike Madigan and Jim Durkin from profiting from property tax appeals. If developing world dictatorships can do it- so can we!

We need to ensure that our state universities are fully funded. The budget impasse of the past two years had a devastating impact on our colleges and universities. I hear parents complain that a growing number of places at our universities are being filled by students from outside the country who pay full tuition. While that is one way to fill a funding gap, it is not optimal. We need to ensure that there are places at all of our colleges and universities for Illinois students who want to attend. When funding is destabilized, students, parents and high school counselors look elsewhere. Illinois already does not tax retirement income. The most effective way to address property taxes is through stabilization of state revenues for the state to be able to pick up a greater share of the cost of educating Illinois' children.

First and foremost, Illinois needs a budget every single year to provide stability to our schools, providers, employers and residents. The instability and lack of predictability has created an environment that makes it hard for businesses and some residents to justify staying here.

Our state is in a crisis because of the pension fund. We can not roll back on taxes when we need more revenue. Ask your neighbors what they are willing to give up to lower their taxes. The answer is always nothing. People want public transportation, public schools, and services for their children, the elderly, and more. What we need are creative ways to gain more revenue like taxing marijuana. Once we tax and regulate marijuana we can create a new stream of revenue to support our state.

We must follow Ohio's example and get our finances in order by adopting the tenets of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act to make our spending transparent. By diverting dollars back into programs rather than pockets, we can attract jobs and raise our standard of living. We can show corporations and job builders that we are an honest place in which to conduct business. We also need a policy that prevents lawmakers such as Mike Madigan and Jim Durkin from profiting from property tax appeals. If developing world dictatorships can do it- so can we!

There is no single set of policy actions that will unilaterally reverse this trend. It needs to be a combination of transparent, honest discussion about the state of our state, the consequences we face if we don't take action, and the range of options available. It takes leadership at all levels, and I want to be part of that leadership.

We need to show them they are not just ATMs for reckless politicians. We need to hold the line on anymore tax increases, get Medicaid under control and eliminate pensions for elected officials. I'm sure there is a lot more, but this would be a great start.

Illinois should institute an income tax with graduated rates that will raise revenue from the wealthiest in our state. We can then use that revenue to lower property taxes and sales taxes to help spur the economy. Lowering the cost of goods will and lowering property taxes on the middle class will spur spending which will drive the economy. We should also use the revenue to pay down our debts as the sooner we are out from under the burden of our debt the sooner we will have room under the budget to reinvest in economic engines like higher education and social programs that pay dividends. Once our financial picture is complete, and our debt payments are under control, Illinois can then lower our income tax rates accordingly, and responsibly.

Illinois should institute an income tax with graduated rates that will raise revenue from the wealthiest in our state. We can then use that revenue to lower property taxes and sales taxes to help spur the economy. Lowering the cost of goods will and lowering property taxes on the middle class will spur spending which will drive the economy. We should also use the revenue to pay down our debts as the sooner we are out from under the burden of our debt the sooner we will have room under the budget to reinvest in economic engines like higher education and social programs that pay dividends. Once our financial picture is complete, and our debt payments are under control, Illinois can then lower our income tax rates accordingly, and responsibly.

We need to show them they are not just ATMs for reckless politicians. We need to hold the line on anymore tax increases, get Medicaid under control and eliminate pensions for elected officials. I'm sure there is a lot more, but this would be a great start.

I would suggest a four year "Property Tax Freeze". Having the highest property taxes in the nation is not the notoriety I want for Illinois. The State is taxing families out of their homes and it must stop.

We need to be able demonstrate that tax dollars are spent properly and efficiently. Property taxes should not continue to increase when property values have declined or have remained the same for years. I support a four year to a permanent Property Tax freeze as a first step to relief the burden on our families and seniors.

I would suggest a four year "Property Tax Freeze". Having the highest property taxes in the nation is not the notoriety I want for Illinois. The State is taxing families out of their homes and it must stop.

Lower property taxes.
Lower income taxes.
Eliminate corruption
Support core services

Illinois needs to get its spending under control so that it can reduce taxes. If taxes remain at their elevated levels and a balanced budget remains out of sight, residents will continue to flee.

To keep residents from leaving, lawmakers should focus on policies that encourage job creation and limit the growth of state government. Illinois' regulatory climate absolutely must be competitive with neighboring states like Indiana or Wisconsin, and we can do that by reforming our workers' compensation rules. We must cap spending and ensure that lawmakers are passing truly balanced budgets, so as to ensure politicians aren't tempted to increase taxes and so we can actually give taxpayers a tax cut for a change.

We must also get our property taxes under control, and we can do that by instituting a property tax freeze that gives local voters the ability to raise or lower their tax levies. Property tax relief must also be paired with mandate relief from Springfield and increase government consolidation measures so Illinois' nearly 8,000 units of governments can reduce costs to taxpayers. Finally, we must ensure that Illinois maintains is status as an education leader by making sure our K-12 education system is fully-funded and our higher education institutions remain competitive with their peers across the country and innovate as the economy and world around us changes.

We need to be able demonstrate that tax dollars are spent properly and efficiently. Property taxes should not continue to increase when property values have declined or have remained the same for years. I support a four year to a permanent Property Tax freeze as a first step to relief the burden on our families and seniors.

To keep residents from leaving, lawmakers should focus on policies that encourage job creation and limit the growth of state government. Illinois' regulatory climate absolutely must be competitive with neighboring states like Indiana or Wisconsin, and we can do that by reforming our workers' compensation rules. We must cap spending and ensure that lawmakers are passing truly balanced budgets, so as to ensure politicians aren't tempted to increase taxes and so we can actually give taxpayers a tax cut for a change.

We must also get our property taxes under control, and we can do that by instituting a property tax freeze that gives local voters the ability to raise or lower their tax levies. Property tax relief must also be paired with mandate relief from Springfield and increase government consolidation measures so Illinois' nearly 8,000 units of governments can reduce costs to taxpayers. Finally, we must ensure that Illinois maintains is status as an education leader by making sure our K-12 education system is fully-funded and our higher education institutions remain competitive with their peers across the country and innovate as the economy and world around us changes.

Lower property taxes.
Lower income taxes.
Eliminate corruption
Support core services

Simple — stop raising taxes. Look at the spending side to balance the budget instead of always looking at the revenue side. People need to realize that the exodus of people leaving Illinois is so important because 1) People are being forced to leave their homes and their families because they can't afford to live here anymore 2) They are taking their wealth and tax dollars with them leaving the people who are left with paying the difference 3) The more people leave, the more taxes we will pay because Springfield has an insatiable appetite for our money. We need to stop the insanity of tax and spend policies in Springfield.

In order to make Illinois a place for families to want to stay and for other to relocate to, I believe it begins by enacting policy that creates great jobs and reduces burdens on hardworking residents. Many other Midwestern states are growing manufacturing jobs and simultaneously evaluating tax policy that makes moving over the border out of Illinois very enticing. There is no reason Illinois should not be a destination state- we have great natural resources, cities, and people; however, our years of bad policy mentioned above leave people feeling like that have to leave the state to succeed elsewhere.

Working in economic development and with small business entrepreneurs- I have seen the choices that business leaders and executives make when choosing where to house their companies. They are concerned with business taxes, burdensome regulations, property taxes, and access to talent. Meaningful property tax relief is essential- many families I speak with in their home tell me they have already found similar sized homes in other nearby states for property taxes at half of what they currently pay. I don't like to see families and seniors taxed out of this state, and addressing this problem is of utmost importance.

Simple — stop raising taxes. Look at the spending side to balance the budget instead of always looking at the revenue side. People need to realize that the exodus of people leaving Illinois is so important because 1) People are being forced to leave their homes and their families because they can't afford to live here anymore 2) They are taking their wealth and tax dollars with them leaving the people who are left with paying the difference 3) The more people leave, the more taxes we will pay because Springfield has an insatiable appetite for our money. We need to stop the insanity of tax and spend policies in Springfield.

1. Freeze and reform property taxes
2. Roll back the Illinois personal income tax hike.

I believe one way to stem some of the exodus is to establish the graduated tax system.

I believe one way to stem some of the exodus is to establish the graduated tax system.

Property tax reform is the biggest thing that can be done to help people afford to stay in Illinois. We are getting crushed in property taxes in the 38th district. My house is worth approximately $260,000 and the property taxes are almost $10,000 per year.

Property tax reform is the biggest thing that can be done to help people afford to stay in Illinois. We are getting crushed in property taxes in the 38th district. My house is worth approximately $260,000 and the property taxes are almost $10,000 per year.

We should govern responsibly and not hold the state budget hostage for political agendas.

1. Freeze and reform property taxes
2. Roll back the Illinois personal income tax hike.

We should govern responsibly and not hold the state budget hostage for political agendas.

We need to enact a 1% flat property tax that will make it that taxpayers pay 1% on what the property is worth and at the same time enact TABOR laws to put handcuffs on politicians so that they have to spend within their means just like most households do.

We need to enact a 1% flat property tax that will make it that taxpayers pay 1% on what the property is worth and at the same time enact TABOR laws to put handcuffs on politicians so that they have to spend within their means just like most households do.

Freeze Property taxes for Seniors, Disabled, and defer property taxes for people who are out of work or who are out on a long illness.

We will need to make some very difficult decisions in the next few years to get our financial house in order. But, we will not be able to make those difficult choices without first re-establishing trust between voters and elected officials. How do we get voters trust back? 1. End gerrymandering 2. Select a new Speaker of the House 3. Elect a new Governor These steps will create confidence that elected officials are working for the state's best interest, and not their own. In turn, this confidence will give them the space to make tough choices to effectively attack our financial problems. Then we can make the investments in people, education, infrastructure, and the environment that will ultimately drive job creation and stop the exodus from the state.