Governor Quinn Encourages Families, Teachers to Take Advantage of Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Governor Pat Quinn today visited a teacher supply store  in Chicago to encourage shoppers to take advantage of the state’s first-ever back-to-school sales tax holiday. He reminded teachers who support their classes by buying supplies (out of their own pocket) that they will receive a 5 percent discount during the 10-day period. The sales tax holiday started Friday, Aug. 6 and continues through Sunday, Aug. 15.

“Students will be heading back to school in just a few short weeks, and we need to make sure they have the supplies they need to start the year off right,”  said Governor Quinn. “Back-to-school shopping can be expensive for the teachers who buy supplies for their students out of the goodness of their hearts. The sales tax holiday will help them get ready for class without breaking the bank.”

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. To maximize the savings, families can also plan ahead by stocking up on clothing, outerwear, boots, scarves, mittens and hats that  will be needed later this year.

While the 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

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 sales taxes collected at retail registers will be 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.