CHICAGO - August 6, 2010. Governor Quinn today visited retail stores throughout Illinois to encourage shoppers to take advantage of the state’s first-ever back-to-school sales tax holiday. He reminded families from Illinois and bordering states that they will receive a 5 percent discount on back-to-school necessities during the 10-day period. The holiday started early this morning and continues through Sunday, Aug. 15.
“Students will be heading back to school in just a few short weeks, and it is important that they have the supplies they need to start the year off right,” said Governor Quinn. “Back-to-school shopping can be expensive for families, which is why I am reminding parents that this sales tax holiday will help them get their kids ready for class without breaking the bank.”
The back-to-school sales tax holiday gives families the opportunity to save money in the long run by purchasing extra school and office supplies with the discount now. The discount applies to typical school supplies such as paper, pens, pencils, binders, crayons, glue, chalk, tape, etc. To maximize the savings, families can also plan ahead by stocking up on clothing, outerwear, boots, scarves, mittens and hats that will be needed later this year.
While the tax exemption is designed for back-to-school purchases, it is not limited to purchases for school children. For example, any clothing item selling for less than $100 also qualifies for the 5 percent discount. More information and a complete list of qualifying items is available at TaxHoliday.Illinois.gov.
Computers and computer supplies, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cameras and sports equipment are not eligible for the sales tax break.
During the 10-day sales tax holiday, the 5 percent portion of sales taxes collected at retail registers will be waived. However, local government sales taxes will continue to be collected.
The tax holiday runs longer than those in bordering states such as Iowa and Missouri, encouraging more out-of-state consumers to shop in Illinois stores. This will help shift tax revenue from neighboring states and drive up sales in all retail sectors. The additional expenditures will help increase overall state sales tax revenue and the need for additional retail workers will boost income tax revenue.
According to a National Retail Federation survey, the average American family will spend $606 on back-to-school supplies this year. That same family would save $30.30 under the Illinois sales tax holiday.