High workers’ compensation costs have long been a thorn in the side of Illinois employers and the state’s costs continue to outpace neighboring states.
Indiana’s $1.16 per $100 of payroll is the second lowest in the nation and less than half that of Illinois. Neighboring Iowa, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Missouri all have lower workers’ compensation rates than Illinois, with only Wisconsin breaking the $2 per $100 of wages mark and even that state’s rates are more than 75 cents per $100 of wages lower than Illinois.
Illinois also ranked 48th for domestic migration – a measure of the number of persons moving into the state versus the number moving out. According to the study, more than 600,000 persons have fled Illinois since 2003. A similar measure looked at the number of new taxpayers as a percentage of total taxpayers in each state and again found Illinois 48th in the nation.
This was the seventh edition of “Rich States, Poor States.” Its authors are Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, who served as a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board and is best known for popularizing the “Laffer Curve” showing that tax revenues decline if tax rates exceed an optimal percentage; Stephen Moore, chief economist for the Heritage Foundation and a former member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board; and Jonathan Williams, senior task force director of tax and fiscal policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council.