Summer seems to fly by right before our eyes. Before we know it, August is upon us and school will be starting again in just a couple weeks. It is around this time that parents start collecting pencils, folders, and new shoes for their children to start the year off. We can all probably recall the excitement of getting a new book bag at the beginning of each year, but all of these new items come as a costly extra expense for many families.
To relieve some of this additional cost during the peak of back-to-school shopping, Ohio will be hosting its third annual sales tax holiday. Made possible by the legislature through Senate Bill 9, the sales tax holiday will be held the first weekend of August, August 4, 5, and 6. During this period of time, items of clothing up to $75 each and school supplies and materials up to $20 each will be exempt from sales and use tax.
When you add up all the items necessary for the school year, especially for families with multiple children, the price tag can get expensive. With that, the sales tax can become a significant portion of the final cost, which can be a further burden on hardworking Ohioans. I was proud to support a measure that gives these families the option to save on needed purchases, allowing them to keep more money in their own pockets.
The past two sales tax holidays have proven to be successful, attributing to overall increased retail sales in August. With more people out taking advantage of the sales tax exemption, other purchases are often made, boosting our state’s economy. During the 2015 sales tax holiday, it is estimated that shoppers saved approximately $3.3 million, money that they were able to save or invest back into the economy in another way.
As you or your neighbors head out to the stores this summer to stock up on school supplies, I encourage you to take advantage of this discounted rate during the sales tax holiday to make the bulk of your purchases. This period gives Ohioans a unique opportunity to save money while maintaining the potential to boost our economy, a true win-win scenario.
Gary Scherer is a Republican member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 92nd district, which includes Fayette County.