A Guest Column by Senate President Keith Faber
As the father of two school-age children, I know how expensive it can be to prepare students to return to the classroom for another school year. That is why I am pleased to remind families that we have renewed the Ohio Sales Tax Holiday again this year to give parents much-needed relief during the back-to-school shopping season.
This three-day exemption from qualifying sales taxes is meant to ease the burden for families and to ensure that students have the items necessary to succeed in the classroom. We have made sure to schedule the 2016 Sales Tax Holiday to provide parents and educators with an opportunity to save the most money at a time that we all know can quickly become costly.
Beginning Friday, August 5th through Sunday, August 7th, this tax-free weekend is an opportunity for families to keep more of their hard-earned money when shopping for back-to-school necessities.
Shoes and clothing priced below $75 will be exempt from state and local sales and use taxes during this period. School supplies and instructional materials priced at $20 or less will also be exempt and online vendors are also required to waive local and state sales taxes on designated items during the tax holiday. This is a win-win for students, their families and local businesses. Removing the burden of sales taxes for these three days ensures that children are equipped to succeed and parents are able to save more.
As in 2015, shoppers and retailers are sure to benefit from this initiative. Ohioans saved approximately $3.3 million on back-to-school items during the three-day period last year, resulting in a 6.48 percent boost in statewide retail sales in August 2015. Counties located along state lines fared even better, averaging nearly an 11 percent increase in county sales tax collections.
This opportunity for Ohio families is one part of our commitment to boosting Ohio’s economy and improving our business climate by lowering taxes and cutting red tape. More than 428,000 new private sector jobs have been created in our state since January 2011 and my colleagues and I will continue to prioritize jobs and opportunity for all Ohioans.
I was proud to cosponsor Senate Bill 264 earlier this year to enact this one-time sales tax holiday. I hope your family takes advantage of this opportunity and please be sure to share the news with your friends and family members who have school-age children.
The Ohio Sales Tax Holiday is designed to allow your family to stretch a dollar further during this important time of year. Widely hailed as successful in its inaugural effort last year, I look forward to Ohioans being able to keep more of their hard-earned money again this August.
To learn more about Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday and for a complete list of eligible items, visit http://www.tax.ohio.gov/sales_and_use/salestaxholiday/holidayfaq.aspx.