Taxes Matter

Yup

A recent Tribune investigation found jobs (or shorter commutes), better schools and proximity to family among the top three motivations for leaving the Land of Lincoln. But those who pack up in search of more affordable housing and cheaper property taxes are also a motivated bunch.

Real estate professionals like Tom Keefe, owner of Keefe Real Estate in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, have noticed an influx of Chicago residents moving to The Badger State for a number of reasons, but the lower tax burden seems to trump them all.

“For the same size house in Illinois, taxes are triple and quadruple what they are in Wisconsin. And a lot of people think the services here are just as good, if not better, particularly when it comes to schooling,” he said.

Illinois property taxes average 2.31% (based on the state’s median home value), surpassed only by New Jersey’s rate of 2.44%, according to the most recent analysis by finance website WalletHub. Wisconsin ranked 5th at 1.94%, Indiana ranked 29th at 0.87%.