Take just one look inside Tri-State stores and you’ll know right away: it’s officially back-to-school time! And if you have kids going back to school, you know that everything from crayons, markers, notebooks, folders, electronics, and clothes will be eating up your budget this month.
The good news? For the fourth straight year, Ohio is having a “sales tax holiday.” From this Friday, August 3th through Sunday, August 5th, if you shop in Ohio you won’t have to pay any sales tax on the following items:
- Clothing priced at $75 per item or less
- School supplies priced at $20 per item or less
- School instructional material priced at $20 per item or less
To put the savings in perspective: if your family plans on spending $500 on school supplies this weekend, you’ll save about $35 (assuming you live in Hamilton County with its 7% sales tax rate). Not a ton of savings, but better than nothing.
Interestingly, according to the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center, the tax-free weekend collectively saved Ohioans about $3.3 million in sales tax in 2015.
Ohio is just one of 16 states offering a sales tax holiday this year, and neither Kentucky nor Indiana are participating. But if you live in either of these states, you can still take part by shopping at Ohio stores. Online shopping counts, too, as long as you order during the designated timeframe and have the items shipped to an Ohio address.
And if you're not in need of school supplies, that's OK! For example, "clothing" is defined as items such as sweaters, shoes, socks, jackets, neckties, aprons, bathing suits, diapers, formal wear, and even wedding dresses! As long as a qualifying item is $75 or less, it will be tax-free.
The Simply Money Point
Think of this weekend as a back-to-school gift from the state of Ohio! And it’s not something that’s going away, either: this year, Governor Kasich established the tax holiday as a permanent holiday that will take place annually during the first weekend in August. So, mark your 2019 calendars now!
For more information about the sales tax holiday, including which items qualify as “school supplies" and "clothing," please visit the Ohio Department of Taxation.