COLUMBUS—The Ohio Senate today passed Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva) and co-sponsored by Senator Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton), 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.

In 2015 and 2016, the widely advertised tax-free shopping period was praised by both back-to-school shoppers and retailers. The latest 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.

“I am so pleased to be able to support Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday,” said Oelslager. “Back-to-school shopping season can be a costly time for families. This legislation aims to ease the burden on working families, while encouraging increased sales at local businesses.”

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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