It may be the middle of summer, but the first day of school for the kids of the 95th Ohio House District is quickly approaching.

Though this is an exciting time for children and parents, it can also be a bit stressful. The cost of supplies, clothes and other school items can really add up and I know it can be a heavy burden for families who are working hard to provide for their kids.

That’s why I’m happy to announce that this year, the state legislature passed legislation designating the first weekend in August 2016 as a sales tax holiday. The bill created a three-day period in which certain school supplies are exempt from both state and county sales tax. Clothing up to $75 per item, school supplies and instructional materials up to $20 per item can qualify for a sales tax exemption.

I hope residents in the district can take advantage of this great opportunity to save some money during a time when every penny counts.  I was proud to support this legislation because not only does it help parents shopping for the school year, but it also benefits our local economy. Stores in the district can see an increase in revenue during the sales tax holiday, which is always a plus for the community as a whole.

A study by the University of Cincinnati’s Economic Center found that there was an increase in sales during last year’s sales tax holiday near Ohio’s borders because people were traveling across state lines to purchase school items. I can see this sales tax holiday being a boon for our district, given the proximity to West Virginia, as West Virginia has no sales tax holiday, this legislation could even encourage West Virginians to come to Ohio for their school supplies, further enriching our local economy.

I am a huge supporter of small business and supporting ideas that can enrich Ohio’s economy and help families. With the success of last year’s sales tax holiday, I have no doubt that this year, we can continue that trend.

I encourage everyone to take advantage of the sales tax holiday this year. Join me in marking August 5-7 on your calendars! Hopefully this can provide a little relief during those busy days leading up to the first day of school.

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