These shoes were made for taxing, at least in Illinois

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 12 2013 11:30 a.m. MST

Athletic-shoe purchases could see a tax of 25 cents in Illinois, if proposed legislation passes. The money would fund a nonprofit organization that provides training for disadvantaged youths.

Yvette Quiazon, Associated Press

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A recent Illinois bill proposes taxing the athletic to support young people.

A 25-cent tax would be added to any “shoe designed primarily for sports or other forms of physical activity,” according to an article by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The funds from the sneaker tax would help Illinois YouthBuild, a nonprofit organization that provides training for disadvantaged youths. Currently it operates mostly with federal funds from the Department of Labor, but funding has halted the past three years due to budget constraints.

“Fortunately for (YouthBuild), I don’t see how an additional 25 cents on a pair of tennis shoes should be a challenge,” Rep. Will Davis told the Sun-Times. The Democrat sponsored the new bill.

Owners of athletic companies, however, see that 25 cents as a "deterrent to business." Rob Karr, vice president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said businesses are opposed because product-specific taxes are a bad idea.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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