Rep. Merrin urges "yes" vote on the floor of the House

The Ohio House today passed House Bill 116, sponsored by State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township), which eliminates the sales and use tax on eyeglasses, frames and contacts.

Eyeglasses and corrective contacts significantly improve Ohio lives—enabling many to maintain employment, learn, live safely, and have mobility. House Bill 116 would save taxpayers an estimated $29 million annually, but more importantly it would benefit families struggling to pay for a basic medical necessity that helps the youngest of Ohioans.

“It’s a big win to reduce Ohio’s tax burden and make prescription eyewear more affordable for Ohioans,” Merrin said.

It is important to eliminate the financial tax burden on prescribed, life-enhancing products. Corrective vision products are pivotal to many children’s educational experience. Poor vision can lead to academic struggles that can have life-long consequences.

Prescription eyewear is the only prescribed medical product sold in traditional retail stores that is taxed in Ohio. Almost all prescription goods in Ohio are exempt from the sales and use tax. The exceptions are dental prostheses, the sale of medical oxygen-dispensing equipment, and hospital beds unless purchased by a hospital, nursing home, or other medical facility.                                                                                                                         

House Bill 116 will save taxpayer dollars while creating a simpler and fair taxation structure on prescriptions. Including Ohio, only 14 states impose a tax on prescription eyewear. Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia have all eliminated the tax, putting Ohio retailers at a significant disadvantage.

House Bill 116 passed in a vote of 93-1 with bipartisan support and awaits further consideration from the Ohio Senate.

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