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Financially Strapped Illinois Drops Sales Tax Holiday

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN/KMOX) - Illinois parents hoping to save some money on school supplies are out of luck this year as the popular “state sales tax holiday” isn’t returning.

Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman Sue Hofer didn’t have much to say about the incentive, initiated last year for a short time for items such as notebooks, markers, tennis shoes and a host of other products. “The sales tax holiday was a pilot program last year, and wasn’t renewed by the general assembly,” she says.

The Quincy Chamber of Commerce, which competes with Missouri And Iowa for shoppers, says retail sales were up slightly in August 2010 – but not as much as expected.

Missouri has a sales tax holiday on school supplies every year. The Quincy Chamber of Commerce executive director Amy Looten says, why drive all the way there?

 “With gas prices what they are these days, sometimes the dollars you’d save by going 20 to 45 minutes away might not really be worth your while in the long run,” she says.

Looten says she appreciates anything the state and federal government can do to help spur activity in their stores, but she understands the state’s fiscal situation.

” we know that the state is very strapped financially and we know that to save the economic well-being of our state,  we can’t ask for too many discounts and things like that, you know we don’t want our taxes to go up on the other end.” 

The Department of Revenue isn’t saying why the sales tax holiday wasn’t renewed, how much it cost the state to implement the program, or if it improved sales in border communities, like Missouri and Iowa.

Copyright IRN/KMOX

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