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Illinois temporarily suspends grocery tax, pushes off gas tax increase

Illinois is suspending the state’s 1% tax on groceries for one year as well as implementing other relief measures, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/d490e396f91dc4ab6bbe6da8360fa026/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Illinois is suspending the state’s 1% tax on groceries for one year as well as implementing other relief measures, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

June 30 (UPI) -- Illinois is suspending the state's 1% tax on groceries for one year, as well as implementing other relief measures, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday.

The Illinois Family Relief Plan will also see the state suspend a scheduled increase to its gas tax for six months to help with rising prices at the pump, with both changes taking effect Friday.

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Illinoisans were paying an average price of $5.391 for a gallon of regular fuel Thursday, according to AAA, well above the national average of $4.857.

"Illinois families are feeling the struggle of the economic moment that we're facing and it's during times like these that we must lead by prioritizing working families," Pritzker said during a news conference.

The $1.8 billion relief comes with a host of other measures to help residents deal with rising inflation.

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More than 95% of taxpayers in Illinois will receive a one-time tax refund by the fall, with checks arriving in mid-September. Individual tax filers will receive $50 and joint filers will receive $100. An additional $100 is available for up to three dependents.

The state's plan also provides up to $300 in property tax relief for homeowners.

In a move aimed at helping parents, the state's sales tax will drop for a 10-day period in August. The rate will be lowered from 6.25% to 1.25% on clothing, shoes and school supplies between Aug. 5 and Aug. 14.

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School teachers will also be eligible for a tax credit of up to $500 to buy school supplies for their students.

"This new law puts money back in the pockets of homeowners and families in the South Suburbs," State Senator Michael E. Hastings, who served as chief sponsor of the plan, said in a statement.

"We are slowly recovering from the most severe public health crisis that our state, country and world has seen in the last century. It is crucial that we prioritize families by providing them with much-needed and deserved relief to keep growing Illinois' economy."

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