No election? No break on Illinois back-to-school supplies

No election? No break on Illinois back-to-school supplies

Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee are all having back-to-school sales tax holidays. Not Illinois, where state leaders saw the need during the 2022 election.

Back-to-school shopping is typically the second-biggest spending time for families next to the holiday season.

Iowa, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee are all offering sales tax holidays on clothes or school supplies. Families in Illinois are out of luck.

Illinois offered a back-to-school sales tax holiday last year, lowering the sales tax from 6.25% to 1.25% for 10 days in August on select items. Families saved roughly $50 million on clothes and school supplies.

Illinoisans pay the eighth-highest combined state and local average sales taxes in the nation at 8.8%.

Last year was the first time Illinois had such a tax holiday in more than a decade, coincidentally in an election year.

“Our parents shouldn’t have to choose between buying essential school supplies for their children and putting food on the kitchen table. Our teachers shouldn’t have to break the bank to do right by the students that they nurture day in and day out,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in August 2022.

Those same parents and teachers aren’t getting any breaks in 2023. The average household is expected to spend $890 on back-to-school shopping, the largest amount ever, according to the National Retail Federation.

Permanent tax relief, not just when lawmakers are up for reelection, would help families keep extra money for new clothes or school supplies.

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