The Ohio Senate today approved Senate Bill 243, sponsored by Senator Kevin Bacon (R–Minerva Park), which seeks to establish a recurring three-day weekend each August in which certain retail items are exempt from sales and use taxation. The initiative is commonly known as a “sales tax holiday,” and is intended to boost sales while giving taxpayers a break.
“A sales tax holiday in Ohio would create a ‘black Friday-like’ excitement during those three days,” said Bacon. “It also offers Ohio residents a break on needed clothing items, school supplies and computers.”
In total, the sales tax holiday weekend would save Ohio families approximately $78 million. The initiative is expected to both assist families in paying for back-to-school supplies while also generating additional economic activity in the state.
According to the Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati, 18 states had a sales tax holiday in 2012. Most of these states covered similar items seen in Ohio’s proposal such as clothing and school supplies. The same University of Cincinnati study estimated that Ohio retail sales volume would increase by approximately 4.8% during the month of August should a sales tax holiday be implemented.
Bacon’s proposal includes a state sales tax suspension on the following items:

  • School Supplies such as pencils, pens, binders, and lunch boxes priced $20 or less,
  • Clothing Items such as denim, sweaters, and jackets priced $100 or less
  • Computers and devices such as electronic book readers, laptops, and desktop computers priced $1000 or less.
  • Computer accessories such as a keyboard, mouse or nonrecreational software priced $750 or less.

Should the proposal be implemented, Ohio would be the 19th state to offer a sales tax holiday behind Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
The bill will now proceed to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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