The Tribune’s recent article on Cook County property tax increases is another nail in the coffin of my decision to leave the city. I’m ready to buy a house, but how can I do so in a city where property taxes have increased by 115 percent since 2000?
I’m not leaving the city to buy in the suburbs (as if property taxes would be any less), like so many other millennials. My fiance and I are leaving Chicago and Illinois entirely. We cannot fathom starting a family in such a corrupt and broken place. We cannot allow the enormous debt to be passed along to our children. According to Truth in Accounting, Illinois’ debt amounts to $226 billion and Chicago’s amounts to $36.4 billion. This does not include the debt incurred by Chicago Public Schools, Cook County, water, and transit authorities.
None of my reasons for leaving are new. If you live in the city or the state, you know what has been going on for a long time. And if you don’t, you are as naive as I was at 22 when I moved here bright-faced and bright-eyed. But I’ve grown the past four years while the city has worsened. The U-Haul truck doors slam shut on Saturday as I proudly become part of Illinois outmigration statistics.
But don't worry, I'm still working for Truth in Accounting.
Courtney Fox is Truth in Accounting's strategic communications and operations manager.