Study shows southern Illinois gets more than its fair share of s - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Study shows southern Illinois gets more than its fair share of state funding

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WSIL — A new study by SIU’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute refutes the longstanding sentiment that southern Illinois doesn’t get its fair share of state resources.

“I’ve lived here for over 40 years and I’ve heard it constantly for 40 years that we’re supporting Springfield and we’re supporting Chicago. It's not true”, said John Jackson, who helped write the study. 

It shows that Chicago and it’s collar counties receive less from the state than they pay in taxes, while every other region gets more in state funding than they pay back.

The biggest offender is southern Illinois, which gets back $2.81 for every dollar of tax revenue it sends to Springfield. Comparatively, Chicago gets back only 90 cents for every dollar it sends, and the suburbs, just 53 cents. Jackson says this is due to the large amount of state jobs in southern Illinois.

He adds residents listen to politicians who say downstate is propping up Chicago, despite evidence to the contrary. 

“We get told that over and over again by people in office and people running for office that we’d be great as a state if just weren’t for us having to support Chicago,” he said.

Some have even proposed splitting Illinois into several states. In fact, Robert Marshall made separating the state the counterpoint of his failed Democratic Primary campaign earlier this year. 

Jackson says such a change could have drastic effects.

“If it weren’t for the support from northeast Illinois we would be north Mississippi basically,” he said.

Union and Johnson Counties are the biggest beneficiaries of state funding, with each getting back more than six dollars for each dollar they send to Springfield.

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