Tax-free holiday for back-to-school supplies approved by House

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Niraj Antani speaks on tax-free holiday

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Back-to-school shoppers again will get a tax break on their supply purchases in August if Gov. John Kasich signs legislation sent Wednesday to his desk.

A temporary sales tax holiday bill for back-to-school shoppers resoundingly passed 94-1 in the Ohio House.

Last year, the holiday saved Ohio shoppers $3.3 million in taxes and gave the state another $4.7 million in sales tax revenues, according to the University of Cincinnati Economics Center.

The holiday will take place Aug. 5-7 — if signed by Kasich — lifting the sales tax on all purchases of clothing up to $75 per item and school supplies and instructional materials up to $20 per item.

The state last year enjoyed sharper tax revenue increases close to its borders, because no other neighboring states have such a holiday, said State Sen. Kevin Bacon, sponsor of the bill.

“The 2015 sales tax holiday triggered “Black Friday”-style increases in consumer activity, with consumers taking advantage of this tax break on important back to school and clothing items,” said Gordon Gough, president and CEO of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, in a release. “This year we hope to build on that success and make it an even better event for consumers.

State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miami Twp., noted that his district includes the Dayton Mall. He sees the holiday as a win on every front — benefiting businesses, consumers and the state.

“I’ve been a big fan of the sales tax holiday,” Antani said. In fact, he has tried to write legislation lifting sales taxes from school textbooks, but the Ohio Department of Taxation asked legislators to spend more time examining the idea.

“We just need to do some more work on it,” he said.

Montgomery County collected $1.1 million in regular sales taxes last August, according to the state. In Clark County, the collection was $200,876; while in Butler County, it reached $615,955.

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