Many Want Chicago to Separate from Illinois, But There’s a Catch
In the tri-state area, Chicago ends up being the butt of a lot of jokes. That's no big surprise since it's one of the biggest metros in the country and most of our area are smaller communities built on agriculture. It's obvious that many love the idea of Chicago separating from Illinois, but you should know there is a very big catch.
For fun, we dropped this fun graphic on our Facebook page. The response was enormous.
Almost without exception the audience responded with a resounding "YES". Chicago becoming "Chicagoland" or whatever it might be called and leaving Illinois might sound romantic for many, but a story from News Channel 20 offered a different perspective. They shared a study done by researchers at Southern Illinois University on what it would really mean if Chicago were not a part of Illinois any longer.
The SIU group released a study showing how many tax dollars in the state end up in different regions. The numbers are pretty shocking. It shows that the urban areas of Chicago only receive back around 58 cents for every dollar they provide compared to downstate counties that they say receive $1.70 for every dollar.
A quick summary of what they found is that the counties in Illinois that aren't Chicago would suffer greatly if the tax dollars from Chicago were taken away. Since balancing my checkbook is a challenge, don't take my word for it. Check out the full study for yourself and decide if the idea of punting Chicago is really as good as it sounds on the surface.