Ohio stores prep for sales tax holiday weekend

MARIETTA — Back-to-school shoppers may be busy this weekend, as Ohio holds its fourth annual sales tax holiday, designed to provide relief for families and to stimulate economic activity for retailers.

From Friday through Sunday certain items will be exempt from state and county sales and use taxes. Clothing items up to $75 each and school supplies or instructional materials up to $20 each will be free of taxes if purchased during this weekend. This includes a variety of items, from pencils and paper to pants and jackets to prepare for the fall.

“I am happy to see the sales tax holiday back for its fourth year. Back-to-school items are purchased every year, and it’s important we give consumers relief via this break,” said Ohio Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta, in a release. “With the sales tax holiday I also encourage people to shop locally and support local businesses to keep money in the district and within our state.”

Angie Meiser, store general manager at the Marietta Kmart, said the store always sees a rush of customers this time of year.

“It picks up around this time even without the holiday,” she said. “Everyone is shopping for back to school clothing and supplies. We’re seeing a lot of that already.”

This year’s back-to-school sales tax holiday is the fourth consecutive one to be held in the state of Ohio. The legislature also passed Senate Bill 226 to make it an annual occurrence during the first weekend of August.

The first time the sales tax holiday occurred in 2015 an extra $4.7 million in consumption was generated, along with saving consumers approximately $3.3 million, according to a study produced by the University of Cincinnati.

The study also found that Ohio counties that border other states experienced a 15.48 percent increase in sales tax collection, leading to the conclusion that many out-of-state families traveled to Ohio to take part in the tax holiday.