Back-to-school sales tax holiday starts this weekend

Permanent tax-free holiday to help lessen last sales tax hike

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today announced Ohio’s back-to-school sales tax-free holiday scheduled for this weekend, August 3-5, as a result of the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 226. The annual event helps lessen the sting of the 4.5 percent statewide sales tax hike passed by Republican lawmakers in the 2013 state budget. The hike has cost taxpayers almost $2 billion more since then, according to state revenue numbers.

 “With so many Ohio families struggling to make ends meet already, the tax free holiday alleviates a bit of the financial burden that comes with back to school shopping,” said Galonski. “To be successful during the school year students and their families not only need to purchase class specific items, but also replace everyday use items. While a family may save a relatively small amount this weekend, those dollars add up so a student can have lunch money or be able to replace something later in the school year. Every little bit helps.”   

The sales tax holiday was first introduced in 2015 and, according to an analysis conducted by the University of Cincinnati’s Economic Center, saved consumers over $3 million on almost $47 million worth of back-to-school purchases.

SB 226, which passed earlier this year, declares the annual tax-free weekend for back-to-school items, including clothing, school supplies and instructional materials a permanent holiday and will recur each year during the first weekend in August.

Qualifying items include clothing priced at $75 or less per article and school supplies and instructional material priced at $20 or less per item.

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