State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) announced on Thursday that he introduced House Bill 450 to establish a three-day period in August—the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday— each year during which school supplies, clothing, computers and computer accessories are exempt from state and county sales and use taxes.
“I am excited about the possible benefits this bill may have for both Ohio back-to-school shoppers and businesses,” Rep. Patterson said. “Currently, many Ohio consumers are taking their business to neighboring states, such as Pennsylvania, where they do not have to pay sales or use taxes on items they buy to get ready for the start of the next school year. And with the recent sales tax hike that has already cost Ohioans $119 million, it is easy to understand why.”
According to a 2013 National Retail Foundation study, the average family with school-aged children will spend of $634.78 on school supplies. Additionally, the study found that 49% of families plan to shop in the month preceding the start of school, with half stating that they will shop at a clothing store. By establishing the first weekend of August as a tax holiday for clothing and other school supplies, H.B. 450 would make Ohio school suppliers more competitive, while saving a majority of Ohio back-to-school shoppers a significant amount of money.
“My bill is a commonsense approach to keep Ohio back-to-school shoppers and their business in state, providing a much needed boost to local economies and communities while saving families money,” Rep. Patterson added.
The tax holiday would establish a tax exemption for items of clothing up to $100 each, school supplies up to $20 each, and personal computers and computer accessories up to $750 each. By providing Ohio families with an opportunity to save money on their school shopping by staying in state, the increased revenue for local businesses would offset a portion of the foregone sales tax revenue.
In November, State Senator Kevin Bacon of Columbus introduced a companion bill, Senate Bill 243. Since introduction, it has received three hearings in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, where it is under consideration.