It’s hard to believe, but kids soon will be returning to school, a time of year that can be stressful for some students, particularly those who would prefer a couple more weeks of summer break. But it can also cause great financial strain for parents who have to buy any number of items so that their kids are prepared for the upcoming school year.


This year, the state is trying to relieve some of that strain by issuing a sales tax holiday for back-to-school shoppers. Actually, it would be more appropriate to say sales tax holidays, as it runs from August 7th through August 9th.


Customers will not have to pay sales tax on school supplies or instructional material under $20. The offer also extends to clothing priced at or below $75 per item. In that way, the offer doesn’t just benefit people who are shopping for school-related materials, but rather to anyone wishing to buy clothes that fit within that price range.


This year marks the first time a sales tax holiday has been attempted in Ohio, although several other states have done so in years past and have seen very positive results. The concept was passed and signed into law in Ohio through Senate Bill 243 last December.


I was proud to support the legislation when it came to the House last year because I think could produce major benefits for both families and businesses alike. It obviously helps customers by reducing some of their cost burden, and it also helps retailers by bringing more customers into their stores.


With this being the first ever sales tax holiday in Ohio, I am curious to see its results, though I expect it to be very popular with everyone involved. Some have even said they expect crowds similar to Black Friday. The outcome of the inaugural sales tax holiday could determine whether it is tried again in the future.


So I encourage people to get out and support our local businesses, especially teachers, parents and students who are preparing for the start of another school year. If you know that you have to buy school supplies anyway, then you might as well do it at a time when it will save you some money in the process.

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