There are many items that do not qualify for this 10-day sales tax break for one reason or another. Before shopping, you need to take a look at this list.

What is the Illinois Tax Holiday?

Illinois Senate Bill 157 lowers the tax rate on clothes and school supplies by 5% for 10 days in August, beginning on the 5th and ending on the 14th.

The spirit of this bill is to give parents, guardians, and teachers a little relief when buying school supplies for the next school year. During the 10-day tax holiday, the rate will drop from 6.25% to 1.25%. Before you start your shopping trips it's important to know what is a 'qualified item' and what is not. Thanks to NBC Chicago, we have the lists that show both.

The first Sales Tax Holiday rule to remember is that no matter what list you're looking at, all items are subject to a retail selling price of $125 or less

Items That DO Qualify for Illinois Sales Tax Holiday



The retail selling price must be less than $125 per item.

  • Household and shop aprons
  • Athletic supporters
  • Bathing suits and caps
  • Belts and suspenders
  • Coats and jackets
  • Gloves and mittens
  • Hats, caps, and ear muffs
  • Lab coats
  • Neckties
  • Rainwear
  • Rubber pants (covers for cloth diapers)
  • Scarves
  • Underwear
  • School uniforms
  • Shorts and pants
  • Skirts and dresses
  • Hosiery and pantyhose
  • Shirts and blouses


The retail selling price must be less than $125 per item.

  • Shoes, sneakers, and shoelaces
  • Sandals
  • Slippers
  • Socks and stockings
  • Footlets
  • Boots and overshoes
  • Soles for shoes
  • Steel-toed shoes

School supplies

Must be used by students in the course of study. These items are NOT subject to the $125 rule.

  • Binders
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Erasers
  • Expandable pocket, plastic, and manila folders
  • Glue, paste, and glue sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards and index card boxes
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers
  • Notebooks and notebook paper, including loose leaf notebook, copy, graph, tracing, manila, colored and construction paper, and poster board
  • Pencils and pencil leads
  • Pens, ink, and ink refills for pens
  • Pencil boxes and other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Protractors, rulers, and compasses
  • Scissors
  • Writing tablets
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Now, the list of the items not worth trying to buy during this 10-day tax holiday since you won't be getting a sales tax break on them.

Items That DO NOT Qualify for Illinois Sales Tax Holiday

Clothing accessories

Any clothing item with a retail selling price of $125 or more, and

  • Briefcases
  • Cosmetics
  • Hair notions, including, but not limited to barrettes, hair bows, and hair nets
  • Handbags and wallets
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Jewelry and watches
  • Non-prescription sunglasses
  • Umbrellas
  • Wigs and hair pieces
  • Sports or recreational equipment
  • Gloves, including but not limited to baseball, bowling, boxing, hockey, and golf gloves
  • Goggles
  • Hand and elbow guards
  • Life preservers and vests
  • Mouth guards
  • Shin guards
  • Shoulder pads
  • Wetsuits

Protective equipment

  • Breathing masks
  • Clean room apparel and equipment
  • Ear and hearing protectors
  • Face shields
  • Hard hats and helmets
  • Paint or dust respirators
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety glasses and goggles
  • Safety and tool belts
  • Welder’s gloves and masks
  • Footwear
  • Ballet, tap, cleated, or spiked athletic shoes
  • Roller and ice skates
  • Ski boots
  • Waders and fins

School supplies

Any item not used by students in the course of study, and

  • Clay and glazes
  • Acrylic, tempera, and oil paints paintbrushes for artwork
  • Sketch and drawing pads
  • Watercolors
  • Instructional material
  • Reference books
  • Reference maps and globes
  • Textbooks and workbooks
  • Computers and related supplies
  • Flashdrives and other computer data storage devices
  • Data storage media such as diskettes, and compact disks
  • Boxes and cases for disk storage
  • External ports or drives
  • Computer cases
  • Computer cables
  • Computer printers, printer cartridges, toner, and ink
  • Cameras and related supplies such as film and memory cards, video cameras, tapes, and videotapes
  • Cell phones
  • Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s) and handheld electronic schedulers

How Many of These Undesirable Nicknames for Illinois Towns Have You Heard?

It seems every town or city in Illinois has a different name. It's the derogatory name that locals use and noobs will soon understand. Some are pretty dirty.

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