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Guest Column from State Rep. Anthony DeVitis: Assessing Ohio's First-Ever Sales Tax Holiday

August 26, 2015
Republican Newsroom

Press Release Poster

Earlier this month, shoppers around the state took part in a three day Sales Tax Holiday codified into law by the Ohio General Assembly last year through Senate Bill 243. From Friday, August 7th through Sunday, August 9th, Ohioans were able to get a head start on their back-to-school shopping while avoiding sales and use tax on items like clothing, school supplies and instructional materials.


I was happy to vote yes on the bill when it came before the House in the hopes that it would help Ohio families cope with the sometimes overwhelming cost of preparing their kids for the coming school year. The provisions of the bill allowed for clothing priced at $75 or less, school supplies priced at $20 per item or less and school instructional material priced at $20 per item or less to be sold sales and use tax free. Multiple items could be purchased at this rate. And so far, reports from the Sales Tax Holiday have been positive.


If these tax breaks weren’t enough, I was thrilled to see that around 25 retailers at Summit Mall also offered special deals over the Sales Tax Holiday weekend, which neared Black Friday levels of excitement. In Columbus, Polaris Fashion Place saw a 9-percent increase in customer traffic over the weekend, with some stores in Columbus reporting a 50-percent increase in traffic on Sunday. I’m pleased to see so many Ohioans visiting retailers like these across the state from an economic standpoint, but most importantly it signifies that more of our kids will be well prepared and fully stocked for the coming school year.


I look forward to seeing more information about the effect of the Sales Tax Holiday in the coming months. For now, I’m happy to see that our local businesses enjoyed a boost, and that on the first day of school, more of our kids were well-equipped and ready to learn.