CHICAGO – July 7, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to create Illinois’ first-ever statewide sales tax holiday to help families pay for back-to-school essentials, such as new shoes and school supplies.
“Back-to-school shopping can be expensive and difficult for families that are already struggling to make ends meet,” said Governor Quinn. “From Aug. 6 through 15 the sales tax holiday will boost Illinois businesses while helping every child in Illinois get the school supplies they need to succeed in the classroom.”
Senate Bill 3658, sponsored by Sen. Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville) and Rep. Keith Farnham (D-Elgin), creates a sales tax holiday starting Aug. 6 and running through Aug. 15. During the holiday, the 5 percent state portion of sales taxes collected at retail registers will be waived; while local government sales taxes will continue to be collected.
Parents in Illinois spend between $800 million and $1.2 billion every year on back-to-school supplies. Virtually all of the supplies that schools require children to have on the first day of school – paper, binders, pens, pencils, crayons, rulers, erasers, chalk, tape and glue – will be eligible for the reduced sales tax rate. Clothing that costs less than $100 per item, such as shoes, outerwear, uniforms, gloves, hats and mittens, is also eligible.
“Both consumers and businesses have been crying out for relief during this difficult economic downturn,” said Illinois Retail Merchants Association President & CEO David F. Vite. “The road to recovery goes through retailing and consumers, and Illinois’ first-ever sales tax holiday will go a long way in aiding these efforts.”
The Illinois sales tax holiday lasts approximately a week longer than those in Iowa and Missouri, which traditionally occur during the first weekend in August. This provides Illinois families more time to select and purchase the items their children need to go back-to-school.
The sales tax holiday will not apply to some items such as computers (including peripherals and supplies such as ink, flash drives and cables), and items needed for afterschool activities.