Illinois is only big state to charge a tax on groceries

Illinois is only big state to charge a tax on groceries

Illinois is one of the few states that taxes groceries. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is suggesting a suspension of the 1% grocery tax to help struggling families. Some lawmakers said if Pritzker really wants to help, he needs to end grocery sales taxes.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed legislation to temporarily suspend the 1% sales tax on groceries, but only for fiscal year 2023 starting July 1. 

But Illinois is one of only 13 states to tax groceries. Some lawmakers are saying the tax shouldn’t be suspended, but rather repealed.

“A 1% abatement in just the cost of food is little appeasement to a working mom trying to feed her family when inflation is at 8%,” said state Sen. Jill Tracy, R-Quincy.

Pritzker during his budget and State of the State address discussed freezing the sales tax on groceries. He proposed $1 billion in election-year tax delays, including suspending this year’s automatic increase in the state gas tax he doubled in 2019.

“Eggs, milk, veggies, beef, across the board nutritious food is more expensive, but Illinois families need it nonetheless,” Pritzker said at a Chicago grocery store.

Pritzker said the tax freeze is only possible because of the state’s fiscal responsibility. He also claimed the 2023 budget will have a $1.7 billion surplus, but an Illinois Policy Institute review shows a $1.5 billion deficit in the proposed budget – just like every Illinois budget since 2001.

“Balancing the budget allows us to even talk about providing these tax cuts to people and I hope we’ll be able to do more,” Pritzker said.

Doing more would involve permanent tax relief, not one-year delays that end shortly after the next election.

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