Back-to-school sales tax holiday may become permanent

5:17 p.m Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 Local
Lawmakers move to make back-to-school sales tax holiday permanent

State lawmakers are pushing to make the August back-to-school sales tax holiday permanent.

The Ohio Senate voted 31-0 on Wednesday in favor of a bill to permanently extend the three-day event for back-to-school items. The bill now goes to the Ohio House for consideration.

Related: Ohioans to get sales tax holiday in August

For the past three years, Ohio shoppers have been granted relief from paying sales taxes on clothing items up to $75 each and on school supplies worth up to $20 per item, such as book bags and notebooks.

The state expects to lose $16.3 million a year on the holiday while local governments and libraries will likely forgo $600,000 a year and transit authorities will lose $4.1 million a year in tax revenues, according to the Legislative Service Commission analysis.

State Sen. Kevin Bacon, R-Minerva, who sponsored the bill, maintained that previous sales tax holidays provided economic stimulus that allowed the state to break even or increase tax revenues.

Sales tax rates vary by county and range from 6.5 percent to 8 percent, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Related: Eyeglasses may be exempt from sales tax

If the bill is approved and signed into law, the back-to-school sales tax holiday will take place on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of August.