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Wednesday, 20 November 2013 10:43

Lawmakers consider tax-free back-to-school shopping

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Proposal would grant three-day weekend in August to ease bills


COLUMBUS — Ohio would offer back-to-school shopping free of state and local sales tax under a new proposal from the state Senate.
The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Kevin Bacon would declare the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August free of sales tax on back-to-school items. Qualifying purchases would include school supplies that cost $20 or less per item, clothing that costs $100 or less and school-related electronics, such as computers, that cost $750 or less.
The proposal is intended, in part, to lure business from surrounding states such as Kentucky and Indiana. Eighteen states have a sales-tax holiday, according to the Economics Center at the University of Cincinnati, but none of them borders Ohio.
The average U.S. family with school-age children spends about $700 on back-to-school shopping, according to the National Retail Federation.
The tax holiday has been proposed multiple times in the Ohio General Assembly without becoming law. Data from several other states with tax-free weekends shows sales-tax revenues won’t suffer and retailers will benefit.

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