Rep. Ugaste fears Illinois may be 'doomed for failure' as taxes drive out tomorrow's state leaders
Freshman state Rep. Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) says a new study showing that Illinois ranks among the top U.S. states in terms of losing its most successful millennial residents exemplifies how desperately change is needed in Springfield.
“It’s bad losing people as it is, but when we are losing our youth and people that are already showing accomplishment, that’s terrible for the future of the state,” Ugaste told the McHenry Times. “It shows that [policymakers] are obviously doing something [millennials] view as not providing them opportunity. The future of the state is such that we can’t succeed if those are the people that are continuously moving away.”
According to the Smart Asset survey, Illinois lost nearly 2,300 residents under the age of 35 that were earning at least $100,000 in adjusted gross income over a yearlong period ending in 2016, further igniting a trend that has seen the state’s overall population dip in each of the last five years. In addition, a 2018 University of Illinois at Springfield poll found two of three Illinoisans younger than 35 have considered relocating out of state with runaway taxes being their greatest motivation.
“We need to address our structural problems,” Ugaste said. “We need to take care of pensions once and for all; we need to be more efficient in government and stop taxing people so much. We need to start looking for ways to help people save money where we can, rather than just thinking of new and different ways to spend money.”
With the state having just passed Gov. J.B. Pritzker's $40 billion budget that includes at least 21 new provisions that raise taxes or fees, Ugaste said the time for change is clearly now.
“We need to absolutely change or we’re just doomed for failure,” he said.