Friday, August 6, 2010

School Supply Tax Holiday Begins

If you're buying school supplies for yourself, your kids, or to donate (hint, hint), you don't have to pay the 5% Illinois sales tax on eligible items between today and August 15th.  For a list of what's eligible, and what's not, click here.  For more information about "Sponsor-A-Student," where you help a low-income local student with school supplies, click here.


  1. The tax break for school supplies is great but why would I have to sponsor-A-student for their supplies. What happened to the parents being held responsible for their children. Maybe if they would dump their Ipods and cell phones they would have money left to pay for their own kids school supplies.

  2. Wiseguy,

    My sentiments exactly, (but I didn't want to post it because I was afraid I would sound nasty.) However, I have found that many of the parents do have money for school supplies, they have just found ways to have somebody else to pay for them. I've done these kinds of things before, and it seems like most of them don't even say thank you, they just grab their free stuff and leave.

  3. Just as a follow-up, these kids are victims of the parent's scam artist tactics. That's what they are taught to do. Sad really.

  4. Jason, you are really one suspicious dude.

    I give to programs for poor kids because it's the right thing to do, not because I want a thank you or a warm fuzzy feeling. I do it because I want to know that I made things a little bit better where and when I could.

    Say and think what you want about the parents, but if a kid is entering second grade and doesn't have school supplies, that kid is going to have a tough time keeping up. Can you even imagine the embarrassment of being one of the few kids in school who doesn't show up with supplies and everyone knows why, because you're too poor to afford them?

    That kid is a victim. It doesn't matter to me why the kid is living in poverty, whether or not it's the kid's parents' fault or society's or whoever. That kid still needs scissors and glue and pencils.

    It's not the kid's fault he doesn't have what he needs to start school. That's where me going to Target and spending $20 will help that kid out. What's $20 to most of us? I'm out of work, so it's a bigger deal to me than it used to be, but I'm still willing to spend it to help someone who doesn't have $20 for supplies.

    I have a lot of relatives who are wastes of skin. Their kids may not have had school supplies, but the parents always had ciggies and beer and a weekly government check. It was only through a combination of relatives chipping in and public funding and social services and charitable people that those kids were prepared on the first day of school, and I for one am damn grateful to every person who made it possible.

    Now those "kids" are in their late teens and early 20s. A few of them have followed in their parents' footsteps. But most of them are fine people: nursing students, speech pathologists, involved and caring parents, stock clerks, mechanics, factory workers, lawn care workers... I am so proud of them.

    It's up to you whether or not you want to help. But calling little kids who need school supplies "con artists" is really hitting below the belt. Count your blessings, Jason, and be grateful you're in a position where you can sit back and call underprivileged fourth-graders scammers.