Temporary state tax relief on gas and groceries from

Illinoisans will receive modest tax relief starting today as the state’s new fiscal year begins.

This includes income tax refunds, property tax refunds, a suspension of the state’s 1% grocery tax, and a six-month pause on the planned inflationary increase in the state fuel tax.

Republicans have criticized the tax breaks as too low, noting that suspending the tax on groceries will only save consumers a dollar off a $100 grocery bill and that tax savings on fuel would only be 22 cents on a 10 gallon tank of gas.

Gov. JB Pritzker and legislative Democrats held a press conference Thursday to publicize the tax relief as consumers grappled with 8.6% inflation, the highest in nearly 40 years.

“We’re sending $1.8 billion in tax relief to Illinois families, and we’re able to do it because Democrats have balanced the budget, cleared the bill backlog, and the government of state is now running a surplus,” Pritzker said.

The press conference came two days after the state’s primary election, kicking off the general election cycle in which Pritzker and the Democrats, who control both houses of the General Assembly, will tout their state budget management.

“Fiscal responsibility means Illinois taxpayers are no longer obligated to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary interest payments,” Pritzker said. “Instead, we are able to better fund education, rebuild our roads, make our neighborhoods safer, attract new businesses to Illinois, and connect workers to well-paying jobs. And starting (Friday), every Illinoisan will get tax relief on basic necessities, gas, groceries and your home.

The tax relief measures were included in a $46 billion budget passed by lawmakers for the fiscal year.

They understand:

• An income tax refund of $50 per person with income less than $200,000 per year, or $100 for couples filing jointly with income less than $400,000 per year, plus $100 per child to support, up to three children.

• A suspension of the 1% sales tax on groceries until June.

• A suspension of the planned inflationary fuel tax increase until December 31, which has been estimated at 2.2 cents per gallon. Instead, the fuel tax will increase twice the rate of inflation next year.

• A sales tax holiday on back-to-school items, which will run from August 5 to 14, when the rate will be imposed at 1.25% instead of the usual 6.25%.

• An additional property tax refund of up to $300 for homeowners who were eligible to claim the property tax credit on their 2021 state tax returns. The refund is available to joint filers earning $500,000 or less and to single filers earning $250,000 or less.

In addition, the tax relief package included a permanent extension of the state earned income tax credit to 20% of the federal tax credit while extending eligibility for this credit to noncitizens who declare their taxes using an individual tax identification number instead of a company number. Security number.

Republicans slammed the package as an election-year gimmick, noting that refund checks would appear in people’s mailboxes or bank accounts before Election Day, while the fuel tax suspension would disappear. shortly after election day.

They offered an alternative, which would have suspended or capped the state’s 6.25% sales tax on fuels, which they said produced a windfall for the state as gasoline prices soared. reached record levels.

According to AAA, the average gasoline price in Illinois was $5.39 on Thursday. This includes 37 cents sales tax.

Democrats pushed back on criticism, arguing that they have passed balanced budgets each of the past four years, resulting in two credit increases each from the three major rating agencies and eliminating the backlog of bills while investing in more important public services.

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