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A Back-to-School Gift for Ohio Families

Ohio's 2016 Sales Tax Holiday could help ease the pocketbook pain of back-to-school shopping. (Nick Amoscato/Flickr)
Ohio's 2016 Sales Tax Holiday could help ease the pocketbook pain of back-to-school shopping.
(Nick Amoscato/Flickr)
August 1, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio families might want to wait a few more days before stocking up on notebooks, pencils and other back-to-school items; Ohio will have a sales tax holiday Aug. 5-7.

State Tax Commissioner Joe Testa said the goal of the program is to help Ohio families keep some money in their pockets while shopping for back-to-school items. During the tax holiday, state and local sales taxes will not be charged on items in three categories:

"Clothing priced at $75 per item or less - there's no limit to the number of items, but there is a $75 cap per item; school supplies at $20 per item or less; and school instructional materials priced at $20 per item or less,” Testa said.

This is the second year the state will offer the sales tax holiday. Research from the University of Cincinnati Economics Center estimated that shoppers saved over $3 million on nearly $47 million worth of purchases during last year's event. The holiday also applies to online sales made during the first weekend in August.

Testa said the 2015 sales tax holiday was such a hit that this spring lawmakers passed a bill to hold another.

"This is just for this time here in 2016,” Testa said. “Then the legislature will be free to take a look at it again next spring, decide if they want to authorize it again for the following year."

The holiday is also helpful for teachers, who often dig into their own wallets to purchase supplies, Testa said. And it benefits the state, since shoppers tend to purchase other items along with those that are tax-exempt. Last year, sales tax collections were up nine percent during the sales tax holiday - more than $4.5 million in additional tax revenue.

Read more about Ohio’s sales tax holiday weekend here.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH