Pickaway News Journal

Thu, Aug 17, 2017

Scherer announces passage of bill creating sales tax holiday for back-to-school purchases

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Gary Scherer

COLUMBUS - State Representative Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) announced that the Ohio House passed Senate Bill 264, which designates the first weekend in August 2016 as a sales tax holiday for the purposes of back-to-school shopping. The legislation creates a three-day period in which certain school supplies are exempt from both state and county sales tax.

Senate Bill 264 allows clothing up to $75 per item, and school supplies and instructional materials up to $20 per item, to qualify for the sales tax exemption. The intention of the sales tax holiday is to provide families a tax break on back-to-school shopping, while also stimulating economic activity for local businesses.

With the Tanger Outlets in Jeffersonville located within Rep. Scherer's district, he says this legislation will be helpful in boosting the local economy as many visit the outlets for their back-to-school shopping.

"I was proud to vote in favor of this bill, not only because it provides families with financial relief while doing their back-to-school shopping but also because this will have a tremendously positive impact on our local small businesses," said Scherer.

In the previous General Assembly, the legislature passed similar legislation to create a one-time sales tax holiday in 2015 as a way to explore the potential impact. According to the University of Cincinnati's Economic Center, the sales total for that weekend was 6.48 percent higher than anticipated and led to $4.7 million in additional revenue for the state.

The study also showed an increase of sales near Ohio's borders, indicating that people from neighboring states came to Ohio to do their back-to-school shopping and take advantage of the sales tax exemption.

The success of the sales tax holiday in 2015 has led the legislature to reauthorize the back-to-school sales tax holiday for the first weekend of August. Provided that Governor Kasich signs the legislation, the bill will take effect in time for the sales tax holiday to take place from August 5-7 of this year.

Senate Bill 264 was sponsored by State Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park). The bill now goes to Governor Kasich for his signature.

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