For years, I have been critical of the spending and taxing increases in my hometown of Chicago. After politicians caved in on pensions for years to the Teachers Union, the pensions came close to bankrupting the state. The Chicago City Council has continued to find endless things to tax and is now listing as having the highest tax burden of any city in the country. Not to be outdone, the Illinois government is now imposing a $1000 state tax on electric car owners — a curious disincentive to select eco-friendly transportation.
A new report from Truth in Accounting, lists Chicago as having the highest burden per taxpayer — followed by New York City. Chicago’s combined taxpayer burden is $119,110 while New York City’s combined taxpayer burden is estimated at $85,600.
My concern has long been the impact on these cities in terms of high-tax paying citizens fleeing the cities and leaving them in a downward and irreversible spiral. We recently discussed the shortfalls in New York after citizens could not effectively write off their state tax bills in their federal tax returns. In the meantime, cities like Miami are wooing those taxpayers to their cities.
The third highest burden is Los Angeles followed by Philadelphia.
The Chicago City Council approved $2.4 billion in tax subsidies for just two developments in early April. According to Forbes, the city is still struggling to stay afloat with the pension deals struck by politicians. According to Forbes, Chicagoans still must shoulder $39 billion in retirement benefits that have been promised with $28 billion in pension and $842.9 million in retiree health care benefits unfunded. Nevertheless, none of the politicians who struck these deals were held accountable by voters.
I love my home city and worry about its future with the irresponsible policies of its leaders. However, Chicagoans clearly do not see such policies as threatening the city’s future. In the end, we receive the leaders we deserve. I just think the city itself deserves better.