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Guest Column from State Representative Bill Dean: Simple Efforts to Save Families Substantial Money

July 27, 2016
Bill Dean News

One of the primary goals of the Ohio House during the 131st General Assembly has been to keep more money in Ohioans’ pockets. With more financial security and more expendable income, Ohioans can feel comfortable making big purchases and buying daily necessities, spurring the economy and encouraging its continued growth. One way the state legislature has strived to accomplish this goal is with a sales tax holiday.

From Friday, August 5 through Sunday, August 7 this year, certain items will be exempt from state and county sales and use taxes. Clothing items up to $75 each and school supplies or instructional materials up to $20 each will be free of taxes if purchased during this weekend. This exemption covers a wide variety of items, from book bags to textbooks to a new “First Day of School” outfit, for the year. The sales tax holiday was made possible through the passage of Senate Bill 264 this past April.

Last year, the state held a similar sales tax holiday during the month of August, when many families hit the stores in pursuit of clothes and supplies to prepare their children for the upcoming school year. Ohio’s first sales tax holiday generated an extra $4.7 million in consumption, while saving shoppers approximately $3.3 million, according to a study produced by the Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati. This initiative allows hardworking Ohioans to retain more of the money they earn. To us at the Statehouse, it only made sense to make these savings possible again this year, and to hope for similar results and to study the outcomes.

Back-to-school shopping can be a stressful part of the year for many families, especially those with many children or limited income. When a school year dawns on the horizon, full of potential and new experiences, the last thing a family should worry about is making ends meet while trying to provide their children with a successful start at school. I was proud to support this measure, and I hope many families can take advantage of the tax break in order to save a little money. Don’t forget, the sales tax holiday is coming up fast—it’s the first weekend of August!