Millionaires Are Fleeing Chicago In Record Numbers

Recently, we’ve shown where wealthy people reside within the US, and where they’re fleeing from (here, and here). We now present to you the US city that is winning the race to drive out their wealthiest taxpayers. 

As the Chicago Tribune reports, that city is none other than Chicago, Illinois. 

Millionaires are leaving Chicago more than any other city in the United States on a net basis, according to a report by New World Wealth.

About 3,000 individuals with net assets of $1 million or more (not including their primary residence) moved from the city last year, representing about 2% of the city's high net worth individuals.  It is unclear where they went: cities in the United States that saw a net inflow of millionaires included Seattle and San Francisco. One thing is certain: they couldn't wait to get out. 

Among the reasons cited for leaving their former home town, many said rising racial tensions and worries about crime as factors in the decision.

The gun violence part we get. Over the weekend, when we penned that "Chicago Disintegrates - Gun Shootings Soar An Unprecedented 89%: "It's The Struggling Economy" we broke out the stunning statistics within America's very own warzone:

"Gun violence in the windy city is on track to post its worst year in the 21st century, the result of an unprecedented surge in gun deaths in the first three months of the year.  By March 31, 141 people had been killed, according to the Chicago Police Department.


The 141 deaths in the first three months of the year mark a 71.9% jump from the same period in 2015, when 82 people were killed. It's the worst start to a year since 1999, when 136 people died in the first three months the year, according to the Chicago Tribune.


At that pace - an average of three killings every two days - Chicago would have 564 homicides by the end of the year. That would eclipse the 468 killings recorded in 2015 and 416 in 2014."


Still, at least for the time being, these mass shooting sprees are largely isolated to poor neighborhoods of the windy city. As such, it is difficult to see millionaires be directly impacted by what happens in inner city ghettos.

Which probably explains why while the article touches on crime and racial tensions as reasons people are leaving, there is also another little, or rather big, matter that is driving the people away: taxes. 

According to the Tribune, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger recently had this to say about the mounting unpaid bills and budget concerns that the state continues to face.

"We can't go bankrupt and we can't print money. Taxpayers are going to have to pay this bill."

Actually it can go bankrupt.

Recall that just two weeks ago we reported that the "Countdown To Insolvency Begins For Chicago Pensions As State Supreme Court Rejects Reform Bid", in which we wrote that following a controversial Supreme Court decision, "there will be no legislating away pension benefits - even if doing so is the only realistic way for officials to ensure that state and local governments can continue to pay out any benefits at all going forward. That is, even if long-run insolvency is certain, benefits will be paid out in full up to and until the day of reckoning finally comes and it will be up to lawmakers to figure out how to rescue the system in the meantime. If that means raising taxes and/or going into further debt, then that's what it means."

And although they may not be able to print money, we can’t help but wonder if the organization that can, will begin to take on the state insolvency issue in the future to prevent that from happening. After all, the bailout tour must continue to roll on.

For now however, Chicago's future is bleak, and when the hammer finally does hit, it will do so without Chicago's wealthiest present.

Finally, it may not come as a surprise that of all cities around the globe, Chicago was only third in millionaire exodus rankings.

Which was first? Paris, France.

A Rolls-Royce is displayed Feb. 11, 2016, at the Chicago Auto Show. 3,000
millionaires moved out of Chicago in 2015, it is unclear what cars they drove