Senate District 18
John Eklund
New Holiday to Help Families Save Money on Back-to-School Shopping: August 7 through 9
A Guest Column by State Senator John Eklund
July 31, 2015

Many holidays, like New Years, Valentine’s Day and the Fourth of July, have already passed, but there’s one more holiday on the horizon that you will want to add to your calendar this year: Ohio’s first-ever Sales Tax Holiday, which will take place August 7 through August 9. Ohio’s new holiday will help save families more money while allowing them to invest in their highest priority—their children. 

Back-to-school shoppers will not pay the usual 5.75 percent state sales tax or local sales tax on clothing and footwear less than $75 per item and school supplies and materials less than $20 per item. If a consumer is inadvertently charged sales tax on exempt items, the retailer is responsible for providing a refund of the tax from the seller. 

In 2013, I joined my colleagues to support legislation introduced by State Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Columbus), intended to help families save money on back-to-school expenses. The legislation equips consumers with greater buying power, increases sales and benefits our economy as a whole. 

The Sales Tax Holiday is not expected to result in lost revenue for state and local governments. Shoppers are expected to buy more non-exempt products during the three-day tax holiday and purchases from out-of-state shoppers are expected to rise as residents of neighboring states take advantage of offers from Ohio retailers. 

Many retailers plan to offer additional price reductions to allow customers to take advantage of the savings. For example, an $80 pair of shoes with a 10 percent off coupon is $72 and is below the $75 threshold required to take advantage of the tax exemption. It’s worth noting that “buy one, get one free” deals totaling more than $75 on the original item will not qualify since the item price is above the threshold. 

Online retailers that sell goods to Ohio residents will not charge sales tax on qualified items during the three-day period. 
Unlike holiday shopping in December, this special holiday will allow Ohioans to keep more of their hard-earned money and help to equip students for success in the classroom. Remember to mark your calendars for August 7 through August 9 to take advantage of this opportunity. 

A list of eligible items is available online at

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