Illinoisans again paid the highest total state and local tax burden in the nation.

That’s according to the annual “Best and worst states to be a taxpayer” report from the financial site WalletHub.

WalletHub researches weighed property taxes, income taxes and sales and excise taxes as an average across each state and measured it as a percentage of the median U.S. household’s income and behaviors (assumed to buy the nation’s most popular car for instance) and found that Illinois residents pay nearly 15 percent of their pre-tax income to state and local units of government. In other words, $9,064 will be taken from the typical Illinois household in state and local taxes and fees in 2020.

“The tax rate is a lot higher than the rest of the U.S. by about 40 percent,” spokeswoman Jill Gonzalez said.

When weighed against the median state income, Illinoisans paid $8,902.

Gonzalez stressed that many states also have raised their property tax rates in recent years, many in an attempt to provide better quality public education. The majority of Illinois’ local property taxes go toward paying for schools and legacy public employee costs.

In doing its analysis, WalletHub asked a number of economics professors from around the country questions about taxation, including whether or not they believe people usually consider taxes when deciding where to live and whether they should.

“I expect that if someone is moving for a job, it might be more about the job itself and less about the taxes in many cases — though taxation might still come into play in the decision-making process,” Rutherford Cd. Johnson, lecturer of economics at the University of Minnesota Crookston, told WalletHub. “If taxation is known to be very high in the place with the new job is, someone might actually decide not to take the job since it could mean that the standard of living would go backward. On the other hand, if it is a decision of whether to live in this suburb or that suburb based on cost-of-living, then taxation very likely factors into it in many cases.

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Bloomington/Normal and Peoria, and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

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