Back-to-school shoppers ready for sales tax holiday

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Get ready for Black Friday in August – a back-to-school shopping bonanza.

At least that’s what retailers are hoping for when Ohio implements its first-ever sales tax holiday August 7-9.

LINK: Tax holiday FAQ

It’s timed to coincide with back-to-school shopping and for those three days shoppers will pay no sales tax on clothing up to $75 per item or on school supplies up to $20 per item.

Monica Rusnak of Columbus has already started her back-to-school shopping but says she also plans to take advantage of the tax holiday.

“I love it,” Rusnak said. “Think it’s a great benefit. I think we can all save a little money.”

Ohio is the the only state in the Midwest with a tax holiday and Lora Miller at the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants says the council expects shoppers from neighboring states to cross the border and shop.

“We predict that a lot of these folks from bordering states will take advantage of the sales tax holiday in Ohio and while they’re here they’ll probably be doing other things such as dining out, getting gasoline and everyone will be making purchases other than those exempt purchases,” Miller said.

State Tax Commissioner Joe Testa says the General Assembly has approved the tax holiday for this year only but will likely study the outcome and then revisit the idea.

Testa estimates the state it will forego about $25 million in sales tax revenue from the three day event but added that he likes the concept.

“This is consistent, it’s a different way of going about it but its consistent with our goals of trying to reduce the tax burden on the citizens of this state.”

Many of the big back-to-school ads came out last Sunday, and featuring some stores’ best deals.

For example, Target is offering “buy one, get one 50% off,” on many of the popular back-to-school items.

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