Paul Simon Public Policy Institute study shows breakdown of taxes by region in Illinois

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute study shows breakdown of taxes by region in Illinois.
Paul Simon Public Policy Institute study shows breakdown of taxes by region in Illinois.(Paul Simon Public Policy Institute)
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 5:51 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - It is something that you hear at tax time every year. You send money off to the state capitol and see nothing in return.

But is that true? The author of a recent study at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Institute said you may be surprised how much is returned.

“It’s based on need, now rather than the ability to raise money,” said John Jackson, visiting professor at SIU Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Jackson is one of the author of a study on the distribution of state taxes.

They wanted to see how many tax dollars goes to Springfield and how many are returned to the different regions of Illinois.

“We decided to take a look at one of the drivers of that, which is the deep-seeded belief in downstate that they’re sending more money to Springfield than they’re getting back,” said Jackson.

The data shows that is not true.

For every dollar sent to Springfield, the southern Illinois region receives by far the most back of any region in the state.

And it’s for a variety of reasons.

“We have more prisons, than, well, certainly than Chicago and Cook County has. But we have a specialty in building state prisons in this area, they’re an important part,” said Jackson.

State funds also help pay for public facilities.

“We have lots of public parks, we have the Department of Conservation installation all around us, well supported by the state. We have a lot of community colleges and we have universities,” said Jackson.

Jackson said the money is used for roads, state police, medicare, state employees and schools.

He goes on to say that, he believes the amount of tax dollars returned to the region will increase or stay the same.

“Because among other things the school funding formula now favors those districts with less ability to pay, have a lower property tax base and all kinds of other things are going to stay the same on the way those formulas are written,” said Jackson.

The study shows that southern Illinois receives $2.88 in state funds for every tax dollar collected.

Cook County gets back 98 cents, and some suburban counties only get 60 cents for each dollar sent to Springfield.