CHICAGO - August 15, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today visited a drug store in Chicago to remind shoppers to take advantage of the state’s first-ever back-to-school sales tax holiday before it ends tonight. He encouraged families to purchase back-to-school items for their children during this 10-day period in order to receive a 5 percent discount on state sales tax. The sales tax holiday started Friday, Aug. 6 and will continue through Sunday, Aug. 15. During his visit today, Governor Quinn also purchased $100 worth of back-to-school items, which he donated to the Salvation Army.
“With the beginning of the school year just around the corner, families still have time to save money while making their back-to-school purchases before the state sales tax holiday comes to an end tonight,” said Governor Quinn. “If families have not already taken advantage of Illinois’ first sales tax holiday, I urge them to complete their back-to-school shopping today.”
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., under $100. To maximize the savings, families can also plan ahead by stocking up on shoes, clothing, outerwear, boots, scarves, mittens and hats that will be needed later this year.
While the state 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 state sales taxes collected at retail registers is being 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.