payitforward holmes 040122SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) was proud to stand with her colleagues Friday to present elements of a new tax relief plan, including a proposal to pay back some of Illinois teachers’ personal spending on classroom supplies for students.

“Educators need our support for the extra efforts they make at their own expense,” Holmes said. “Many children would go without necessary supplies, but they cannot get the full benefit of education without all the needed tools. It’s time we pay back what is owed to teachers.”

Holmes’ enthusiasm for the full plan, ‘Pay It Forward Plan,’ is also based on direct relief checks for each taxpayer, a property tax relief check, grocery and gas tax relief, and a shopping savings initiative with a sales tax break period at back-to-school time.

Building upon the commitment to budget in a responsible, equitable way that benefits communities in all corners of the state, the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus unveiled this $1.8 billion tax relief plan to put money back in people’s pockets.

The plan outlined Friday would directly deliver relief checks valued at $100 per person and $50 per child to state taxpayers making $250,000 individually or $500,000 jointly – sending money to 97% of taxpayers. A household of four could see a $300 check. Taxpayers could also see an additional $300 property tax relief check – a proposal mirrored after Governor JB Pritzker’s budget proposal.

To address inflation and the rising prices at the pump, the plan also suspends the 1% state grocery tax and the state’s portion of the gas tax increase for six months. Parents could see additional relief at the store from Aug. 5-Aug. 14 thanks to a plan to also wipe out the state sales tax on clothing, shoes and school supplies to give consumers an economic boost as they go back-to-school shopping.

“As families prepare to send their children back to school, they’ll be able to take a deep breath knowing they’ll be receiving a check to help them with the associated costs,” Holmes said. “As local businesses recover from pandemic-related losses, they’ll feel support from local shoppers and spur economic growth. It’s a win-win.”

The comprehensive proposal also includes tax credits for volunteer first responders. Senator Holmes is working with her colleagues to vote on the measure – Senate Bill 1150 – by the planned April 8 adjournment.