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Tue, 25 Apr 2017
Rankings Illinois Shouldn't Be Proud Of
Let’s count all the ways that Illinois has distinguished itself. No other state has gone without a budget for as long as ours – 22 months. And with each month we are setting a new, personal best. Only in Illinois.

Truth in Accounting, an Illinois based nonprofit organization which seeks to explain the morass of public accounting, reported that each Illinois taxpayer would have to contribute $50,400 in order for the state to make up the shortfall in its budget. How does that compare with other states? Once again, we are essentially in a class of our own. The 50-state average shortfall for 2016 is $21,309.09. We exceed the state average by more than 50 percent.

If you want to have a closer look at Truth In Accounting’s Data Base, you can find a treasure trove of information here. By the way, in 2015 we were the third worst state, behind New Jersey which had a shortfall of $59,400 and Connecticut which was second at $49,000. Illinois ranked third for that year at $45,500. On the other hand, we have far more taxpayers than either of those states. Person by person, dollar for dollar, we are in a class by ourselves.

Illinois’ credit rating is headed towards junk bond status. No one is expecting the state to default because it is servicing its debt. High interest rates on that debt is one reason the state’s deficit continues to soar. Bloomberg provides these details in a recent April 21 article.

Higher education in the state is being seriously threatened as budget cuts have sliced days off the academic year and enrollments are starting to drop.

In the meantime, no one quite understands where this is headed, what is the end game, when does it end and how will it end. With those questions swirling in the minds of every Illinois taxpayer, pols are lining up for the 2018 race.

And in the good to know category, CNBC ranked the state as the 24th best place for business in 2016 (19th in 2015) and Forbes ranked it as the 33rd best place for business (38th in 2015). Not bad for a state that doesn’t pay its bills.
Posted 17:28

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