STATELINE (WIFR) -- Picking out school supplies this year comes with a little less stress for parents.
"Now's the time to buy because today is the first day of our sales tax holiday in Illinois," Gov. Pat Quinn said.
This means we can buy back to school supplies under $100 dollars like pens, or even clothing like jeans without paying the state's five percent sales tax. Some parents said the timing is just right.
"A lot of people are losing their jobs right now so that works out really good,” Shopper, Jenny Borja said.
"You have so much stuff to buy that it gives you that extra bit of money when we're all short on cash," Shopper, Susanna Fomby said.
Fomby is a mom of two and a teacher. She's buying for her children and kids who will soon fill her classroom.
"I'm trying to catch the sales and catch the ads that are on sale and so we go in for a specific thing that we're looking for," Fomby said.
Retail surveys show the average American family will spend $600 dollars on school supplies. And with the tax free holiday, the savings add up to about $30 dollars.
However, the savings are estimated cut the state short between $40 and $60 million dollars in lost tax revenue. Gov. Quinn disagrees with those numbers and said the boost in sales will actually help retailers in the long run.
"Other states that have found sales tax holidays have actually increased sales tax revenue because families - when they come into the marketplace and save money on school clothes, they use the savings to buy other things for their family," Quinn said.
So shop up.
"I got something for my husband too. And maybe go upstairs and get something for me," Borja said.
Legislators are split on supporting the tax break. Sen. Dave Syverson said it's not necessary at a time when our state can't pay its bills. His opponent Marla Wilson said it will benefit families.
The consumer tax break ends August 15th. For a complete list of items included in the "holiday" visit http://www.tax.illinois.gov/SalesTaxHolidayList.pdf .