Giving Families A Tax Break This Back-to-School Season
A Guest Column by State Senator Jay Hottinger
August 03, 2015
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Summer always seems to fly by. As fall approaches, families will start heading out to local stores and shopping centers for inevitable back-to-school purchases. This year, however, will be different. From August 7 through August 9, the state of Ohio will be instituting a sales tax holiday on back-to-school items to help families shoulder the costs of preparing for the fall.

Next weekend, clothing priced at $75 per item or less, school supplies priced at $20 per item or less, and school instructional materials priced at $20 per item or less will all be exempt from state sales and use tax. As a father of three, I know from experience that back-to-school purchases can be expensive. In 2012, the National Retail Federation estimated that the average amount families spent on back-to-school items was $688.82. This sales tax holiday will relieve some of the financial burden for families – especially families who are tight on cash.

In addition to providing consumers a much-needed break, the sales tax holiday will also prove beneficial to retailers and businesses. Other states who have instituted similar tax holidays have seen spikes in sales that create a Black Friday-like excitement. The sales tax holiday aims to help not only the families who purchase back-to-school items, but the retailers who sell the products as well. And should the tax holiday prove a success, it is likely that the sales tax holiday will become an annual event. 

The Ohio Senate is working hard to figure out new and better ways to ensure Ohio is nurturing a healthy, thriving economy. By creating a tax holiday designed to be both consumer- and business-friendly, we are excited at the prospect of finding yet another way to lighten the burden on Ohio families, paving the way for a bright, solid future for our state.

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