SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Illinois parents hoping to save some money on school supplies are out of luck this year as the popular “state sales tax holiday” isn’t returning.

Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman Sue Hofer didn’t have much to say about the incentive, initiated last year for a short time for items such as notebooks, markers, tennis shoes and a host of other products.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports

“The sales tax holiday was a pilot program last year, and wasn’t renewed by the General Assembly,” she said.

The Quincy Chamber of Commerce, which competes with Missouri and Iowa for shoppers, says retail sales were up slightly in August 2010 – but not as much as expected. Missouri has a sales tax holiday on school supplies every year.

The downstate chamber’s executive director Amy Looten says, why drive all the way there?

“With gas prices what they are these days, sometimes the dollars, you’d save by going 20 to 45 minutes away might not really be worth your while in the long run,” she said.

The Department of Revenue isn’t saying why the sales tax holiday wasn’t renewed, how much it cost the state to implement the program, or if it improved sales in border communities.

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