How to save on back to school in Illinois without tax-free weekend

How to save on back to school in Illinois without tax-free weekend

This is the eighth year in a row Illinois families won’t benefit from a back-to-school tax free weekend. Only 16 states are offering a tax free weekend this year, including border states Wisconsin and Missouri.

Tax free weekend is designed to knock sales tax off items like clothing, shoes and school supplieev, en electronics and tech in some states. But since 2010, Illinois law makers have said no thanks to the tax break.

“Really what you’ve got is a situation where I think the legislature has decided that all you’re doing is pulling purchases that we’re already going to be made into the tax-free kind of zone,” President of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Todd Maisch said. “And those purchases would have been made anyway. So there’s no real economic benefit.”

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce says retailers closest to the border lose the most money, mainly on big-ticket items.

“I don’t think anybody travels from Springfield to Indiana in order to go ahead and avoid sales tax, to be honest,” said Maisch. “Somebody may go ahead and buy a slightly more expensive item at a retailer because sales tax is not on, they may go ahead and make that bigger expenditure.”

To save money in state, clothing experts say there are certain things to stock up on this time of year.

“This time of year is a prime time for denim,” Clothes Mentor store manager Lynette Crawford said. “Denim is an all-year-round category. Also a lot of tops, athletic wear, all those transitional-type items is perfect for this time of year.”

Also, think about buying clothes at end-of-season clearance sales for the next year. You can also save by shopping at retail stores.

“Getting a fresh look is important to everybody. It can get really costly, so our program being set up in both Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor, being sister stores right here, is ideal to be able to afford that new look at any given time, whether it’s back to school, saving a little extra, or, just you know, doing a little rebuild.”

Local stores are also working hard to compete with tax-free weekends out of state. Dozens of stores around town are offering back-to-school sales this time of year.

If you plan to visit the mall, both Bergner’s and Sears in White Oaks Mall are having going out of business sales, on top of other stores offering back-to-school deals. Before heading to the mall, you can check out and compare each store’s offers by clicking here.

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