Even some Cook County residents are looking for a new Illinois

This is just one community — believe me it’s not alone — here is Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner:

The squeeze residents of Palos Heights, Illinois are feeling is the same as what’s playing out in communities across the state. Higher property taxes, falling home values and stagnant incomes are the fallout of Illinois’ burgeoning crisis.

The worsening situation has become increasingly obvious to the residents who live there. “I’ve had neighbors moving out, taking losses on their home,” a resident said at a Palos Heights gathering we attended recently.

Wirepoints was in the southwest Chicago suburb at the invitation of New Illinois, a nonpartisan group dedicated to creating a new state independent of the Chicago area. While Wirepoints doesn’t endorse New Illinois’ mission, we understand the frustration of its supporters, many who feel disenfranchised and forgotten by Illinois politicians.

After looking at the pain of those in Palos Heights and the refusal of Illinois politicians to fix anything, it’s no wonder some residents are looking for a fresh start.

The pain in Palos Heights

Property taxes were, of course, a sore spot for many of the attendees. Effective property taxes in Palos Heights are 2.2 percent. That’s higher than the state’s average and more than double what residents in neighboring Kentucky, Indiana and Missouri pay.

Several residents warned that the taxes they faced could drive them out of the community.

Dolores Kramarski, one of Palos Heights’ Aldermen said: “There’s a tax on everything. I’m very disappointed in this state. I was born and raised here. I thought I could retire here, but for the same amount of money I could have twice the home in Florida.”

And while not all city residents understand why their property taxes are so high, they certainly know there’s a problem. They’ve seen both their home values fall and their incomes stagnate at the same time.

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