COLUMBUS -Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) today announced that the Ohio Senate has passed Senate Bill 9 which would create the Ohio Sales Tax Holiday in time for the back-to-school shopping season. 

The sales tax holiday provides a sales and use tax exemption for customers purchasing certain retail items during the first weekend in August (August 4th, 5th and 6th) and is intended to boost sales while giving taxpayers a break.

"Renewing the sales tax holiday will help Ohio's families keep more of their hard earned money as they prepare for the next school year," said Obhof. "This legislation provides Ohioans the opportunity to save money on essential clothing and school items, reducing the financial strain on families while increasing sales for local businesses." 

In 2015 and 2016, the widely advertised tax-free shopping period was praised by both back-to-school shoppers and retailers. This year's proposal would require all online and in-store vendors to waive the collection of local and state sales taxes on designated items during the three-day tax holiday.

“The Ohio Sales Tax Holiday has proven to be a win-win for parents, students and businesses alike," added the bill's sponsor, Senator Kevin Bacon. "It’s important that we renew the tax break this year to ensure Ohio families benefit from these savings opportunities."

Savings would again apply to items of clothing priced at $75 or less, commonly used school supplies—crayons, book bags, pencils, etc.—priced at $20 or less, and school instructional materials like textbooks and workbooks priced at $20 or less. The price limits apply per item, so consumers can buy as many tax-exempt items under the price limit as they wish, either online or in stores.

Ohio was one of 17 states to host a sales tax holiday last year. The average family with school-age children planned to spend an estimated $673 on back-to-school supplies and clothing in 2016, or $470 without factoring in the cost of computers and electronics, according to the National Retail Federation.

Senate Bill 9 will now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration. 

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