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Senate considers extension on tax holiday for back-to-school purchases

By MARC KOVAC Capital Bureau Chief Published: February 16, 2017 10:10 AM

COLUMBUS -- The Ohio Senate launched hearings Feb. 15 on legislation that would extend, for a third consecutive year, a three-day sales tax holiday on back-to-school purchases.

Sen. Kevin Bacon (R-Columbus), a Defiance native, again is sponsoring the bill, as he has the two others enacted into law in 2015 and '16.

The new version, SB 9, would establish sales tax breaks on clothing and other specified purchases made on Aug. 4, 5 and 6 of this year.

The legislation would exempt sales taxes on clothing items priced up to $75 each and school supplies and instructional materials up to $20 each, whether purchased in stores or through online retailers.

The exemption would not computers and other electronics, sports equipment and hair accessories or higher-priced clothing and supplies.

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About 17 other states have comparable sales tax holidays in place, most with limits similar to Ohio's.

A study released last year by the University of Cincinnati's Economics Center showed that initial holiday boosted sales tax collections by $4.7 million. Bacon said the group is working on a comparable study for last year's holiday.

SB 9 would have to be passed by the Ohio House and Senate and signed by Gov. John Kasich by early May in order to take effect by the proposed August dates.

"I would someday like to pass this on a permanent basis," Bacon told the Senate's Ways and Means Committee Wednesday.

Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at mkovac@recordpub.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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