Ohio Senate approves bill creating the 2016 Sales Tax holiday


Staff report



COLUMBU, Ohio – The Ohio Senate passed legislation Tuesday, sponsored by State Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva), which would create the Ohio Sales Tax Holiday in time for back-to-school shopping in August.

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

“The legislation is an effort to help families preparing their kids to go back to school in August,” said Senator Bacon. “The opportunity to save money on essential clothing and school items reduces the financial strain on consumers and boosts sales for local businesses.”

In 2015, the widely advertised tax-free shopping period was praised by both back-to-school shoppers and retailers. Senator Bacon’s 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.

“Last year’s Ohio Sales Tax Holiday proved to be a win-win for parents, students and businesses alike. 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 18 states to host a sales tax holiday last year. According to the National Retail Federation, the average family with school-age children spent an estimated $669 on back-to-school supplies and clothing in 2014, or $470 without factoring in the cost of computers and electronics.

Senate Bill 264 will now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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Staff report