Sales tax cut takes effect in Winnetka
Shoppers pass the Book Stall on their way to see the lighting of the village Christmas Tree Friday, Nov. 30. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Shoppers who didn’t receive that big-ticket item as a holiday present may be able to save a few dollars in 2013 thanks to a small decrease in the county sales tax rate.
The decrease took effect Jan. 1 and was made possible by Cook County’s 2013 fiscal year budget, which eliminated the last quarter cent of the sales tax raise previously enacted by the county.
With the change, Winnetka’s sale tax rate will decrease from 8.25 percent to 8 percent, but if you’re not spending a large amount of cash at a local retailer, the difference may not be noticeable.
“I don’t think it’s going to make that much of a difference,” said Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Terry Dason. “It’s pulling the rate back to where it should have been. It will make a difference for big ticket and expensive items.”
Dason says consumers purchasing items like large pieces of furniture or electronics should notice the little bit of relief the rate provides, but shoppers spending a modest amount at a downtown Winnetka shop or local grocery store may not realize the change has taken place.
The new rate is for retailers and service occupation taxes that apply to general merchandise. While automobile purchases are exempt from the tax decrease, the new rate will affect the parts and services side of the business.
Winnetka Finance Director Ed Mckee notes the village does not have any home-rule sales tax, which means Winnetka already had an overall sales tax rate lower than most communities.
“It will help out a little bit (for consumers),” McKee said. “It’s nice when you see things going down as apposed to going up.”
McKee said the new county numbers will have no impact on the upcoming discussions about the village budget, which are expected to take place soon.
According to numbers released by the village, the current sales tax rate breakdown on general merchandise is 6.25 percent for the state rate, .75 percent for county home rule and one percent for the regional transportation authority. Winnetka receives one percent of the state rate as its local portion of the sales tax. ~.