Shoppers save during sales tax weekend

Shoppers come out in hordes for sales tax holiday

Shoppers flocked to local retailers during the first day of the sales tax holiday weekend, and store managers are expecting crowds to grow throughout the next two days.

Ohio’s sales tax holiday, which started Friday and ends at midnight Sunday, offers sales tax exemptions on certain items. The deal includes clothing priced up to $75 and school supplies and instruction materials priced under $20.

At the Walmart Supercenter located at 8800 Kingsridge Drive, customers crowded aisles of back-to-school items. Workers said they expected business to a get more “hectic” in the evening and throughout the weekend.

Stephanie Watson, a resident of West Carrollton, said she plans on going to multiple stores during the weekend. At Walmart, consumers filled their carts with glue sticks, folders, crayons and themed backpacks.

“You can barely get through the aisles with all the people and their carts,” she said.

Ashley Phillips, store manager of the Kingsridge Walmart, told the Dayton Daily News that the weekend is really about providing relief to parents who have increased expenses as the academic year starts. The National Retail Federation estimates the average family will spend $674 per household on back-to-school supplies, up from last year’s $630.

Candace Jones of West Carrollton said she waited to go shopping for her children’s clothing until the sales tax holiday. She filled her cart with clothing for her daughter and son at the Kohl’s at Austin Landing.

“It’ll save a fair amount of money, probably $60 in taxes,” she said. “I think it’d be great if it was every year, especially for people in need with more kids than me.”

Several retailers offered additional deals to bring customers in. Cincinnati-based grocery retailer Kroger announced all Marketplace stores would provide additional discounts on apparel on top of the tax-free benefits. The store offered a 15-percent-off coupon and customers can earn four times the fuel points for gas when they purchase gifts cards at Kroger.

Kohl’s also promoted the tax-free weekend, touting its inventory of exclusive brands for school fashion. Kristina Herwald of Springboro browsed the children’s clothing section in Kohl’s on Friday morning. Herwald recently moved from Lexington, Ky., and said this was her first time participating in a sales tax weekend.

“I don’t know how much we’ll save, but I was disappointed I already bought school supplies,” she said. “We’ll head to Dayton Mall for clothes and some things needed for school.”

The sales tax holiday is currently a one-time event. The Ohio bill creating the holiday is only for 2016. State Rep. Niraj Antani told the Dayton Daily News that legislators will try to pass a deal next year to make it a reoccurring, permanent tax break.

“School starts earlier,” said Shelley Glueckert of Miamisburg, who went shopping at Austin Landing on Friday. “It’s the perfect timing.”

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