July 1, 2008

Planning a Chicago shopping trip? The sales tax is now 10.25%!

That's the highest sales tax in the country. I've driven to Chicago many times just to shop. Many of us in Wisconsin do that. And this really makes that trip much less appealing. When things get more expensive, we compensate by buying less or going somewhere else.

53 comments:

chuck b. said...

Jesus Christ, I hate shopping.

And I really need to buy new shoes, like now. I went in to a shoe store the other day but they were playing some kind of oversung, toxic R&B song (or what passes for R&B in the modern world) and turned right around and walked out.

I would gladly pay a 10.25% premium to have the music TURNED OFF when I walk in the store. That would be great.

Where can you buy shoes online?

Simon said...

"When things get more expensive, we compensate by buying less or going somewhere else."

...By which Althouse neatly shines a spotolight on the elephant that inhabits a dark corner of the room when politicians - Huckabee, for example - suggest fixing tax policy by replacing income tax with a consumption tax.

Original Mike said...

What do they have in Chicago that we don't have here?

Bissage said...

Even the City of Broad Shoulders is going to stagger a bit under that weight.

gophermomeh said...

I've done the same thing - even taken the train down. There's still people-watching and window-shopping. Is IKEA in Cook County?

MadisonMan said...

What do they have in Chicago that we don't have here?

Tolls.

Wow, that's a big bite. On top of paying for the gas to get there.

MadisonMan said...

Is IKEA in Cook County?

Schaumburg is partly in DuPage Co, but I think IKEA is in Cook. Maybe you'll have to drive to the IKEA in Bolingbrook.

Ann Althouse said...

Shoes online? Zappos!

IKEA is online too.

Gas prices are high, so buy on line. Or go there see the things and try them on, then buy on line.

They are obviously trying to soak the outsiders by targeting the place they come to shop. Don't shop there!

kimsch said...

DSW sells shoes online now too. And Endless.com (part of Amazon)

al said...

IKEA is in Cook County. So is Woodfield Mall (not far from IKEA). It'll be interesting to see if sales are affected.

I live in C(r)ook County but with a bit of creativity can do most of my shopping outside the county.

Ann has the best advice - don't shop in Chicago. Don't even visit. The city that keeps electing the same idiots over and over doesn't deserve your hard earned money.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Let me guess....Democrats? Economic dummies. Just wait until we see the devastation that Obama's economic policies are doing to wreak on the United States.

Also ZAPPOS for shoes!!! Huge selection all sizes and widths and a super super customer service policy.

I use the net for much of my shopping including office supplies because of the distance to drive to the "big box" stores for me and expect to use it much more with the rise in gas prices. It costs less to pay the shipping than it does to drive to the store.

I understand that the States are trying to figure out how to charge sales tax on items purchased out of State. They can't tax Amazon.com because there is not a physical location in the states. Expect them to figure out a way to tax this too. California is piss off at Oregon too, because they don't charge sales tax and many people close to the border go over to buy big ticket items.

dannyboy said...

Gas prices are high, so buy on line.

Yes because we all know shipping costs aren't impacted by high gas prices

Original Mike said...

I understand that the States are trying to figure out how to charge sales tax on items purchased out of State.

Wisconsin does this by putting a line on the state income tax form for out-of-state purchases.

Glenn Howes said...

I live within 2 miles of the New Hampshire (0% sales tax) and Massachusetts (5%? sales tax) border. The distance people will drive to cheat on their taxes (Mass. law says you are supposed to pay a use tax on out of state purchases with your income tax) is phenomenal. Way more than you would get with the equivalent 5% off coupon. People just love tax avoidance.

Anybody who doesn't think marginal differences in tax rates doesn't affect behavior should explain sudden shift in businesses as you cross the line. Just south of the line in Tynesborough one finds restaurants (surprisingly taxed in NH) and amusements like a movie theatre, roller skating rink, and a miniature golf course. North of the line in Nashua one sees: furniture, jewelry, appliances, and electronics--basically any and all big ticket items.

Our parking lots are filled to the overflowing with Mass. cars. (Just kidding. We have ample parking day and night, yet another reason why NH is better than MA.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Wisconsin does this by putting a line on the state income tax form for out-of-state purchases."

Riiiiight. And, I'll bet that everyone fills that out too. Just like we all report our barter transactions.

Mergz said...

I was in Chicago a few weeks ago on a business trip and took the family. We walked Michigan Ave, but when we saw the sales tax, we didn't buy a thing. It's 4.25% lower here in Florida, and there wasn't anything there we couldn't get here.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The distance people will drive to cheat on their taxes (Mass. law says you are supposed to pay a use tax on out of state purchases with your income tax) is phenomenal.

Shocking is more like it. I thought Massachusetts was a solidly progressive blue state. I mean I keep hearing from the usual suspects on here how increasing taxes is actually good for society because of all the benefits it provides.

I think you're lying about those MA folks.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Gas prices are high, so buy on line."

Yes because we all know shipping costs aren't impacted by high gas prices

Of course they are, but shipping prices are split between all of the receipients instead on one person bearing the burden of filling up the gas tank to buy items in town. Given my particular location, it costs me much less to buy on line or through cataloges and pay the shipping costs than it does to drive and buy.

If cities like Chicago are trying to raise revenue based on sales to non residents by jacking up the sales tax, they will find that isn't going to work. Rural and suburban people will shop locally or on line leaving Chicago (or other urban center city) trying to raise revenue on the backs of its urban inhabitants.

Original Mike said...

Just sayin', DBQ.

knoxwhirled said...

Where can you buy shoes online?

Chuck, zappos has a huge selection and if your shoes don't fit, you can ship them back for free. They always overnite my shoes for free, too. I am such a loyal customer I am actually bothering to type this.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Illinois Commies. I hate Illinois Commies.

knoxwhirled said...

We have a 9.25% sales tax here, but no income tax. I prefer the high sales tax because they really have to fight every time they want to raise it. It's at least tangible, whereas the income tax is just insidious.

Trumpit said...

Tax the rich and Dust Bunny Queen. Between the two there ought to be enough money to pay for the war in Iraq and my new Bruno Magli shoes. They are nice and big and good for stomping my feet when I get mad.

m00se said...

Just consider this as training for the next administration in Washington...

Mary Martha said...

I live in Cook County and go out of my way to shop in Dupage County when possible.

Particularly for big ticket items. I recently purchased TV - shopped in Cook, purchased in Dupage.

I was in Madison last weekend and made a point to head to the Mall and purchase a few things. Maybe the reverse will start happening and Chicagoan will start heading to WI for shopping.

Pogo said...

Well that just changed our trip.
Now it's Milwaukee.

The leaders of cities and nations, both now and for centuries past, continue to enact taxes that are ruinous. Not to the taxpayers alone, for surely these taxes are, but ruinous to their own future.

I think they truly believe when enacting these taxes that an increase in taxes equals an increase in money to the state, and that people will continue to do as before, altering nothing.

But that ain't likely so. And the people responsible for these decisions are never held responsible, because the effects aren't felt immediately, but over time and cumulatively, like a patient slowly oozing blood into a leech.

St. Louis, Cleveland, and Detroit, for example, used to be important cities, but the people have been migrating out for decades. The same can happen to Chicago.

veni vidi vici said...

try living there. high sales tax is just the beginning. it's the only place i know that has federal, state, county and city income taxes. and they're all too damned high, to boot.

still, it IS a lovely city, and if it weren't for the winters i'd likely not have left after grad school.

MadisonMan said...

Now it's Milwaukee.

Milwaukee is a fabulous place to visit. If you have the $$, stay at the Pfister. It's a great old hotel.

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"Milwaukee is a fabulous place to visit. If you have the $$, stay at the Pfister. It's a great old hotel."

I was there last spring for a conference, it was lovely.

El-Visitador said...

Amazon.com + annual Prime unlimitedshipping ($70/yr)

And you're done, so to speak.

cardeblu said...

"The sales tax is now 10.25%!"

A portent of things to come from out of Chicago...

Pogo said...

I have a kid at MIAD, so we have been there alot. Great summer offerings. Fun downtown. Fewr shootings, to boot (during my visit to Chicago in May there were 37 shootings in one day).

I'll have to try the Pfister, Moby's joke aside.

Original Mike said...

during my visit to Chicago in May there were 37 shootings in one day

You must be mistaken. Handguns are prohibited in Chicago.

Palladian said...

"They can't tax Amazon.com because there is not a physical location in the states. Expect them to figure out a way to tax this too."

Oh they already have.

john said...

Last time I rented a car in Philly, I counted 12 taxes and fees amounting to about 28% of the bill. More recently in MSP the total tax was 32%. But that's OK, since they are business expenses, I can deduct them!

I asked Qwest why my business line cost $30 more a month than my residential line. The CS lady told me the difference wasn't important since it was a business expense and I could deduct it!

Sorry. Not as big a deal as a 10% sales tax. I just needed a place to rant, and this tax thread seemed like a good spot.

dbp said...

Glenn Howes said...
I live within 2 miles of the New Hampshire (0% sales tax) and Massachusetts (5%? sales tax) border. The distance people will drive to cheat on their taxes (Mass. law says you are supposed to pay a use tax on out of state purchases with your income tax) is phenomenal. Way more than you would get with the equivalent 5% off coupon. People just love tax avoidance.

We live 10 miles South of Nashua and do medium and small ticket shopping there (Costco, Home depot, target) not so much to avoid the taxes--not that there is anything wrong with that--but because Nashua is where all the stores are.

Tax policy doesn't just effect individual people and their short-term decision making, it creates concrete and long-term situations. Mass could abolish the sales tax and we would still shop in Nashua because that is where the stores we like are.

AJ Lynch said...

Pogo said:

(during my visit to Chicago in May there were 37 shootings in one day).

Your trip was the cause or effect? Or are you slyly giving a clue or tip to the police Pogo?

former law student said...

What do they have in Chicago that we don't have here?

Excellent question. All the reasons I had to go to Chicago to shop are now gone. Macy's (K-Mart service at Nordstrom prices) decided a century of Marshall Field's reputation and goodwill was worth nothing but trash. The Loop Carson's is gone. Rose Records --> Tower --> RIP. Kroch's closed over a decade ago.

David said...

Just have it shipped.

Poof! No sales tax.

Being the law abiding citizen, you will file and pay a Wisconsin use tax.

You will be the only one to do so.

blake said...

Mass could abolish the sales tax and we would still shop in Nashua because that is where the stores we like are.

Presumably, minus the taxes--and doubtless other stifling regulations--the shops you like would open up in Mass.

blake said...

Simon,

I think the sales tax guys (the "fair tax"ers?) are aware of the "buying less" part, and may even consider it a feature. I think part of the premise is that we would tend to invest more and be frugal. Certainly, when times got tough, we could significantly change our tax burden by buying fewer elective items. Currently we must earn less to reduce our tax burden, and that's often counter-productive.

Of course, my idea would completely eliminate all those incentives to cheat. But it's just wacky.

Eli Blake said...

California is piss off at Oregon too, because they don't charge sales tax and many people close to the border go over to buy big ticket items.

And here in Arizona, a lot of people near the border with Mexico go across to buy things (including filling their gas tank-- which is $2.55 a gallon in Sonora.) A lot of pharmacies there make more money filling prescriptions for Americans than Mexicans.

The fact of the matter is that people have been looking for a bargain since time began and there is nothing you or I can to to prevent it.

Jeremy said...

Hey someone's gotta pay for the cleanup at Grove Parc!

Revenant said...

The fact of the matter is that people have been looking for a bargain since time began and there is nothing you or I can to to prevent it.

Well, we can stop creating "bargains" -- i.e., have the government stop penalizing local businesses with taxation.

Glenn Howes said...

blake said --
Presumably, minus the taxes--and doubtless other stifling regulations--the shops you like would open up in Mass.


I wonder how long that would take. There is a lot concrete in the ground. Going north of the border is: a 1 million square foot mall, a Costco, a satelite mall, a very large jewelry store, a Home Depot, 3 large furniture stores, a shopping center, a Borders, etc. And that's just between the last Mass. exit and the first NH exit on Route 3, after which you get the electronics stores, and the new pedestrian mall they are putting in behind the Best Buy next to the sky diving simulator, etc.
Satellite View

You'll notice that the border actually cuts through about 30 feet of the lower edge of the mall, I'll have to see if they keep the cash registers away from that wall in Sears.

NH could impose a sales tax, and those stores would be trapped, losing their draw as people wouldn't want to spend the gas to come up here for no reason, but still attracting people who liked the concentration of variety.

blake said...

I wonder how long that would take. There is a lot concrete in the ground. Going north of the border is: a 1 million square foot mall, a Costco, a satelite mall, a very large jewelry store, a Home Depot, 3 large furniture stores, a shopping center, a Borders, etc.

That's what we call a "weekend project" in So Cal.

Heh.

But it is interesting: The government could destroy that complex unintentionally, and with the flick of a pen.

Might take a while. And it usually takes more than one pen flick. But the end result is the same.

It's the old "frog in boiling water" canard.

Middle Class Guy said...

I live in the United Socialist Republic of Chicago. Boycott this corrupt city. Do not spend your hard earned money here. This tax increase was totally unwarranted and unneeded. It was a hoax by the County Board President. Our dictator, excuse me, mayor did not fight it. He is the head of the party here. He could have put the County Board president in his place. Neither did the politburo city council we have; all powerful Democrats in their own right.

We now have the highest sales tax in the country, one of the highest, if not the highest energy costs due to taxes, the highest gas cost due to taxation, and in a certain area of the city you pay an even higher tax to promote tourism. There is now even a bottled water tax. Liquor taxes were recently increased too.

This is now the city of big taxes.

Middle Class Guy said...

Ann Althouse said...
They are obviously trying to soak the outsiders by targeting the place they come to shop. Don't shop there!


They are soaking everyone; residents and tourists. Some suburbs that adjoin other counties are thinking of seceding from Cook County.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We now have the highest sales tax in the country, one of the highest, if not the highest energy costs due to taxes, the highest gas cost due to taxation, and in a certain area of the city you pay an even higher tax to promote tourism. There is now even a bottled water tax. Liquor taxes were recently increased too.

This is now the city of big taxes.


And yet, your powers that be will sit around befuddled in the next few years and wonder just how can it possibly be that tax revenues have declined and that the people who make decent incomes have left the area.

"We raised taxes all over the place, why aren't we bringing in tons more money...Guess we'd better raise them some more....Yup yup...that'll do it"

Dummies. And we let these people run our lives and businesses into the ground without doing anything about it. No wonder most government officials are against the 2nd amendment.

kimsch said...

Schaumburg, where Ikea and Woodfield Mall is, the tax is now 10%. Up here in Lake County - Home of Gurnee Mills and Six Flags Great America - the tax is 7%. Come visit lovely Lake County IL!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Glenn: I suspect that Google's state line is slightly out of registration with the map. Notice how they beveled off the corner of that other big store (I forget what it is) in a way that just happens to line up with the south wall of the Sears store? There's your state line, I'll bet.

jojo99 said...

Going out of your way to save money on taxes really is just wasting your time and gas-- unless on big purchases. And for smaller items online shopping is great too BUT if your at the store and you like the item, by the time you pay for shipping and finally get your shoes, the extra $10.25 is worth it. Whoever said city shopping was inexpensive?

blake said...

But there's the benefit of depriving your local government of the income.