As a father of two, I understand sacrifices made by parents every day across Ohio to provide for their children, especially when it comes to education. Back-to-school shopping can be costly and stretching our dollars a bit further to make sure our kids have everything they need can make all the difference. For the second year in a row, parents will be able to save on back-to-school items during the 2016 Ohio Sales Tax Holiday, lasting from August 5 through August 7.

Once again this year, all shoes and clothing priced less than $75 and school supplies and materials priced $20 or less will be exempt from state and local sales and use taxes during this period. Online purchases will also be exempt from sales taxes on qualified items. Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday was created to take away some of the stress for parents and teachers as they head back to the classroom.

This sales tax break is meant to allow Ohio families to focus on what their children need to succeed in the classroom, not just price tags. Last year, Ohioans saved approximately $3.3 million on back-to-school items during our first-ever Sales Tax Holiday, with retailers benefitting from substantial boosts in sales and this year’s Sales Tax Holiday is projected to be another success.

Just as important as textbooks, pencils and notebooks—adequate eyesight is essential to a student's ability to succeed in the classroom. Studies show a strong correlation between students' vision and their academic achievement. That is why I am currently working to pass legislation making it more affordable for Ohio families to purchase eyewear. Senate Bill 216, which I am co-sponsoring with Senator Randy Gardner, would permanently exempt prescription eyewear from the state sales tax. I hope to see Senate Bill 216 on the Governor’s desk soon in order to provide some relief for our family and friends who struggle with poor vision.

As families prepare their children to return to the classroom, don’t forget to take advantage of Ohio's Sales Tax Holiday again this year. This event has benefited Ohio families, businesses and, most importantly, students. Click here for more information about Ohio's Sales Tax Holiday, including specifics on which items qualify for savings.

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