Since 2007, Missouri has had what's called a sales tax holiday, meaning it doesn't charge any sales tax on school supplies, clothing, and computers. And now if you live in Illinois, you will see a similar deal when buying certain back to school supplies.
It's hard for students to think about going back to school, but sometimes it's even harder on the parents and their wallets. But this year, the wallets will get a break.
Governor Pat Quinn signed a sales tax holiday legislation yesterday that eliminates the states 5% sales tax. This means you only have to pay the county and city portion of taxes from August 6th until the 15th. Sales tax in Quincy is 7.75%. With the tax exemption, you would only pay 2.75%.
"Our bordering states, Missouri and Iowa have this kind of a sales tax holiday and so since we are situated so closely to those states, it'll be nice to have one of those holidays as well so that our retailers here locally can compete," says Quincy Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Looten.
Binders, backpacks, pens/pencils, crayons, markers and colored pencils all qualify under this new legislation. But it also includes back to school clothes and shoes. Looten says this is not only a good thing for the state of Illinois, but also for Missouri and Iowa.
"It is a promotional opportunity for those two states to encourage our consumers to go over there to buy their school supplies, so it'll be nice to say, well we have one of those holidays as well," says Looten.
Missouri's sales tax holiday works a little differently. Instead of the 10-day period that Illinois has, their tax holiday is only one weekend - from August 6th until the 8th. Also, they have exempt all sales taxes. I spoke with Terry Sampson of the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce, and he said that even though the city isn't getting any money from taxes on those items, Hannibal still benefits. Once people are in town, they'll buy things that aren't exempt from sales tax.
"That weekend, a lot of people do come into the Hannibal area to save on the sales tax that they'll be saving on those items and when they do come, I think it helps everyone...I think it'll be good for Illinois, the same as its been for Missouri. I think we'll continue to keep our markets and compete with each other, you know, friendly competition, where everybody will still have plenty of business. I think its good for both states, both communities, and hopefully it will increase sales and get people into town," said Sampson.
For more information about what qualifies and what doesn't you can visit tax.illinois.gov.