Illinois lawmaker proposes sneaker tax; shoppers and retailers split

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 5 at 11:45 AM

(KMOV.com) -- An Illinois lawmaker’s idea to raise money for a youth program has some asking whether an item deemed necessary should be subject to a special tax?

Democrat William Davis from south of Chicago is proposing a 25 cent per pair tax on athletic shoes.

The proposal has started a heated debate splitting retailers and consumers down the middle.

“We need to get people outside in the shoes and stay away from as many taxes as we can,” said Rich Green, owner of the newly opened Alpine Shop in O’Fallon.  

He Opposes Representative Davis’ proposal, and says it may hurt his business. “We understand the need for taxes but a small business, it will always affect us,” he said.

The tax would reportedly raise nearly $3 million annually for an Illinois youth program to help them better prepare for and find jobs.

News 4 reached out to the Chicago-based lawmaker with no success; but his collegue, Representative Charlie Meier, from Okawville had plenty to say.

Meier says the tax will draw money from everyone, but there could be a split as to where it goes.

“This money that we are all going to pay will never come down south of 180, probably,” he said.  “But we as tax payers will still be paying it.”

Representative Meier believes the bill has a good chance of  passing, and shoppers are undecided as to wheter it’s a positive thing.

“No I disagree,” said one resident. I'm unemployed- I have to budget stuff to make ends meet.”

But others are on board.

“As long as it's going towards a program to benefit our youth, thats effective I'm ok with it," said another shopper.

If you want to have your voice heard on the shoe tax proposal, here is Rep. Davis’ contact information. 

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