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Grocery tax abolished in Illinois? What happens after the state budget is passed – NBC Chicago

Shoppers in Illinois may soon see a change at grocery store checkouts.

This is because the newly passed state budget eliminated the grocery tax in Illinois. But that may not be the case for everyone.

The Illinois House of Representatives passed the $53.1 billion state budget early Wednesday morning and sent it to the governor for signature.

Pritzker called for the elimination of the grocery tax in his budget speech in Springfield earlier this year. The governor said the proposed elimination would be a relief for families who are still suffering greatly from rising prices. Pritzker criticized the 1% tax as a “regressive tax” that the state does not need.

“If it reduces inflation for families from four percent to three percent, it is the right thing to do, even if it only leaves families a few hundred dollars behind,” he said.

According to state law, the 1% tax on food applies specifically to items intended to be “consumed outside the store in which they are sold.”

The tax was originally suspended from 2022 to 2023 as part of a relief plan for citizens struggling with the costs of inflation, but it was reinstated last summer.

According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, the 1% tax is an additional $1.45 on a grocery purchase value of $145.29.

More than a dozen states currently impose a tax on food, and while Pritzker's plan to exempt Illinois from the tax has garnered widespread approval among consumers, the state's current tax generates significant revenue for local governments.

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said the change would reduce the Chicago suburb's revenue by $2.5 million, for example.

Because the tax directly benefits local communities, the budget allows each community to enact its own grocery tax of up to 1% without state oversight. And communities with home rule powers — generally any city or county with a population of more than $25,000 — would have the authority to enact a sales tax of up to 1% without having to put the question before voters for approval.

The budget, which was passed by the Senate over the long Memorial Day weekend, now lands on Pritzker's desk, where it awaits his signature.

Over the long Memorial Day weekend, Senate members praised the abolition of the tax.

“This measure alleviates skyrocketing food prices,” State Senator Steve Stadelman said in a statement. “By eliminating the state sales tax on groceries, we can provide financial relief to families across the state and make essential items more affordable.”

Republicans complained that Democrats, who control the House, are living beyond their means and failing to prepare for what many predict will be lean years ahead. House Republican vice-chair Norine Hammond of Macomb said she had discovered at least $1 billion in spending that would be pushed into the next fiscal year.

“I'm concerned that there are tricks in this budget that will put us on the path to a huge collision in the future,” Republican Rep. CD Davidsmeyer of Jacksonville told Gordon-Booth. “I hope I don't have to say, 'I told you so,' when it happens.”

Anna Harden

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