Illinois’ comeback story starts here.

Tax increment financing: A primer

Local governments create TIF districts to encourage development in “blighted” areas; but TIFs often don’t deliver on promised economic benefits, while they do divert tax dollars from other uses and create opaque slush funds for the mayor to reward insider developers.

By Chris Lentino

Polishing a turd

AFSCME members have voted: What happens next?

AFSCME members have spent the last few weeks voting on whether to authorize what could be the first-ever state worker strike in Illinois history. Even if members vote to authorize a strike, it doesn’t mean a strike is imminent – nor does it mean that the majority of state workers want to strike.

By Mailee Smith

Grand Bargain

Court denies Madigan petition to stop state worker pay

Lisa Madigan lost the first round in her quest to stop state worker pay during Illinois’ budget impasse. But that doesn’t mean the matter is settled. The attorney general could take this issue all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.

By Mailee Smith

Rauner’s budget proposal needs more spending reforms

The governor should reject tax hikes and push for the structural spending reforms Illinois needs to fix its fiscal crisis and improve its economy.

By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner

State senators stave off spending reform, test tax hikes instead

Illinois’ combined state and average local sales tax rate is the highest in the Midwest.

By Austin Berg

84,000 Illinoisans moved to states with no income tax from 2011-2014

The Land of Lincoln lost almost 84,000 residents and over $6.5 billion in taxable income to the seven states without an income tax while Illinois’ 2011 income tax hike was in effect.

By Mindy Ruckman, Lea Thoele

Forgotten Illinois: Newton and the reality of America’s heartland

Like much of the rust belt, Newton, Ill. is facing difficult economic challenges. But the community continuously sticks together.

Illinois has higher property taxes than every state with no income tax

Despite taxing both sales and income, Illinois has higher property taxes than every single state that does not charge an income tax.

By Michael Lucci

Tax Hike Whack-a-Mole

Indiana personal income has grown twice as fast as Illinois’ over recession era

Hoosier homeowners keep more of their wages as a result of a statewide property tax cap and income tax cuts.

By Michael Lucci