Illinois maintained its title of 6th worst state to do business in, according to a poll of the nation's top business leaders in Chief Executive magazine. Wayne Cooper, the magazine's publisher, says the chief culprit for the dismal ranking is the state's D-plus grade for taxes and regulation...but taxes may be too low:
Cooper says respondents sense hostility and budget uncertainty from Springfield and an overabundance of regulation in the state's books.
Ralph Martire, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, said even then the numbers are “distorted.” He said the most appropriate figure to look at is total tax collection as a percentage of income. Illinois is ranked 46th according to the Federation of Tax Administrators. Martire believes that is a disturbing figure.
“We’re low tax, we’re low spending, we have a $13 billion deficit and we’re not meeting existing needs,” he said. “The way we look at this whole problem is the most responsible solution is a tax increase.”
Other groups, especially those which oppose the governor's borrow-heavy budget, are more concerned with debt levels than revenue.
The COGFA report looks at data from 2007–the latest available statistics on local governments–to analyze total debt outstanding. Illinois ranks fifth with more than $116 billion in debt, translating to about $9,000 per-capita for a ninth-place ranking.