Tax holiday coming for back-to-school shoppers

August 3, 2010 (CHICAGO)

For the first time ever, Illinois will join other states in offering a state sales tax holiday when purchasing designated items during a 10-day period. The state sales tax holiday runs from August 6-15.

The 5-percent state portion of the sales taxes will be waived on school supplies and some clothing in hopes that it willl boost Illinois businesses and retail sales statewide.

Just about all back-to-school items are included in the tax holiday - book bags, binders, crayons, erasers, glue, pencils, notebook paper, scissors, supply boxes, writing tablets and much more.

"We are extremely excited about it. It's adding on to the sales we've been doing's all school supplies. What we're trying to do is make sure we're helping out our guests. You know, 5 percent off is going to help. If you spend $100 on crayons, paper, you are going to save five bucks," said Mike Przysucha, Target.

The tax holiday is not stopping shoppers at Target on Roosevelt Road to get a head start on back-to-school shopping.

"Every little bit helps and school is getting back in earlier this year, so I think it's a great thing," said Trishone Walton, back-to-school shopper.

Clothing must cost less than $100 per item. Items can include shoes, coats, rainwear, uniforms, pants, dresses, skirts and blouses.

The state's 5-percent portion of sales taxes will be waived, while local government sales taxes will continue to be collected.

"If you buy any item that's under $100 a single item, you get the 5-percent discount. If the single item is over $100, then it does not qualify for the 5-percent discount," said Przysucha.

Shoppers say the tax reprieve is a needed break for families who are strapped for cash. "You have to wait it out. The sales, some of the sales are like $1.20 per item. And you can't beat that with the tax break. That will help on bigger items and thing you can't find on sale, so I'm being very careful about it and shopping sales now, shopping sales, going to wait until the 6th for the calculator," said Phyllis Cole, back-to-school shopper.

Items not included will be sports or recreational equipment, art supplies, instructional material, computers and computer supplies and electronics.

"Just strictly back-to-school items. A lot of families have kids going back to school, we're trying to give them a break," said Przysucha.

Some stores are even going to open their doors as early as 6 a.m Friday to take advantage of the tax holiday.

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