COLUMBUS—State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) recently announced the approval of legislation in both the House and Senate, which would renew Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday for the 2017 back-to-school shopping season.
Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday provides a sales and use tax exemption for customers purchasing certain retail items during the first weekend in August (Aug. 4, 5 and 6) and is intended to boost sales while giving taxpayers a break.
“Most holidays drain our bank accounts, yet this uniquely timed holiday allows Ohioans to keep more of their hard-earned money while equipping students with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom,” said Peterson.
Wednesday, the Senate approved an emergency clause made in the House of Representatives that will put the sales tax exemption on the books in time for the 2017 back-to-school shopping season.
In 2015 and 2016, the widely advertised tax-free shopping period was praised by both back-to-school shoppers and retailers. The 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.
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 Gov. John Kasich to be signed into law.
The Senate also approved legislation Wednesday that would would modernize criteria used by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority, allowing job creators to count full-time home-based employees for certain eligibility requirements, according to Peterson.
In 2015, 24 percent of employed people did some or all of their work at home, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Senate Bill 131 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.