Data released this week by United Van Lines, a moving company, reports that Illinois and New Jersey tied for the highest number of customers who were moving out-of-state.
The suburban St. Louis-based company, according to an AP report, tracks interstate migration patterns each year dating back to 1977, providing data so accurate that many financial firms and real estate companies use it.
A spokeswoman for the company told CBS St. Louis that over 60 percent of the company's business in Illinois involved individuals or businesses who were leaving the state. She described that number as "pretty big" -- most states, she noted, hover between 50 and 60 percent.
Illinois has also seen growing numbers of people leaving the state each year since the company began conducting its study, according to CBS.
According to Fox Chicago, the states that were home to the highest influx of new residents were located in the South and West -- the Carolinas, Arkansas, Texas, Oregon and Nevada -- and the District of Columbia.
Companies leaving the state of Illinois has been a hot-button issue since large corporations Sears Holdings Corp. and CME Group, the operator of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, in response to the state's increased income tax rate, threatened to move to states offering them a better tax deal. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and the state legislature responded by offering and approving tax breaks for both companies that are expected to cost the state some $330 million, despite the fact that Illinois faces a budget deficit hovering somewhere around $8.3 billion.
Legislators in Springfield have continued their call for more tax breaks for corporations since approving the Sears/CME deal. Two separate proposals introduced this month would roll back the state's corporate income tax rate to pre-hike levels, including a measure introduced by House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) which would connect the state's corporate income tax rate with its unemployment rate. Specifically, the tax rate would automatically decrease by 0.25 percent anytime the state's unemployment rate increases by 0.3 percent over a four-month period.
Gov. Pat Quinn criticized Cross's plan for threatening education funding and potentially leading to more layoffs of state employees, namely teachers.
A national CEO survey previously ranked Illinois alongside California and New York as having among the "least favorite business climates" in the nation. The state's unemployment rate had also been on the rise for six straight months before it dropped slightly -- to 10 percent -- last month.