At what point in the year has your tax obligation been met, and your earnings truly yours? The Tax Foundation, a DC area think tank founded before WWII, collects and studies tax data at the federal and state level. Using this information they calculate when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year. This day has unofficially been dubbed “Tax Freedom Day”, which this year was yesterday, April 23rd. Because the total tax burden varies considerably from state to state, The Tax Foundation ranks them. In Illinois we will not reach our tax freedom day until April 30th. This puts us at 44th place in the rankings.
Most of our neighbor’s Tax Freedom Days are considerably earlier than ours; with Missouri ranking #12, Iowa #14, and Indiana #19. Connecticut, the state with the highest aggregate incomes and taxes, ranks last at #50, with their Tax Freedom Day occurring on May 21st.
- A recent study says Chicago has the longest commute, beating LA. The study said that an average of 32.4 minutes is spent commuting to work, or 280 hours a year. Other studies have Chicago ranking high, but lower on the list than cities like NYC and DC.
- Is the state working on transitioning free roads to toll roads?
- This constituent’s question refers to an IDOT initiative recently highlighted in the news to add, through a public-private partnership, managed lanes to I-55 to alleviate the congestion. These new, additional lanes would charge a toll, but the current lanes on I-55 would remain free. State law allows these public-private partnerships as long as the General Assembly gives approval through the passage of a resolution. So far no such resolution has passed.
- Other states like Georgia are implementing similar congestion reducing paid lanes. However, I am not aware of any other efforts to “transition” free roads to tollways
Last month Republican House Leader Jim Durkin filed HB4207, which I co-sponsored. While not perfect, this bill attempted to seriously address our pension crisis, but was not given a chance to be discussed, debated, or amended in the Illinois House of Representatives.