The end of the summer can be a challenging time for families as parents prepare their children to return to the classroom. This year, I am pleased to remind families that the General Assembly has renewed the Ohio Sales Tax Holiday to assist parents during the back-to-school shopping season.
Beginning Friday, Aug. 5 and running through Sunday, Aug. 7, families can take advantage of this unique tax-free weekend when purchasing select items, often combined with additional discounts. Both shoppers and retailers can once again benefit from this savings opportunity.
Returning for a second a year, Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday is uniquely scheduled to provide optimal savings for parents, families and educators at a time when families need to stretch their dollars most. The three-day period is meant to ease the burden for families and ensure that students have the items necessary to succeed in the classroom.
All shoes and clothing priced less than $75 will be exempt from state and local sales and use taxes during this period. School supplies and instructional materials priced at $20 or less will also be tax exempt. Even online vendors will be more affordable, as they will waive local and state sales taxes on designated items during the three-day tax holiday.
I was proud to support this initiative as Ohioans saved approximately $3.3 million on back-to-school items during last year’s event, resulting in a boost in statewide retail sales of more than 6 percent in August 2015. Counties located along state lines fared even better.
As a former schoolteacher, I have always looked forward to the first day of school. As you prepare your children to return to the classroom in a few short weeks, I hope Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday leaves you with more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
For more information about Ohio’s Sales Tax Holiday, including specifics on which items qualify for savings, please visit the Ohio Department of Taxation’s website at www.tax.ohio.gov/sales_and_use/salestaxholiday/holiday.
Protecting Our Children from Meningitis
The beginning of a new school year is also a pivotal time to note the importance of vaccinating Ohio’s schoolchildren against deadly meningitis.
Often striking quickly in young victims and causing severe health risks or even death within hours, meningitis is a preventable tragedy that no parent or family member should ever have to face. My family lost my niece Tess to this terrible disease and I have made it a top priority to do all that I can to empower parents to protect their kids from meningitis.
The meningitis vaccine is required for students entering 7th and 12th grades and now is a good time for parents to be making an appointment with their healthcare provider to have all required vaccines. The law protects a parent’s right to opt their children out of the immunizations for matters of conscience, including religious beliefs.
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Cliff Hite can be reached at 614-466-8150.
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