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Ohio tax-free weekend offers break for back-to-school shoppers



Ohio's tax-free weekend for school supplies begins on Friday, offering shoppers and retailers the opportunity to increase sales.

During the three-day, tax-free holidays, shoppers do not have to pay taxes on clothes that cost less than $ 75 apiece, as well as school supplies and lesson materials that cost less than $ 20 apiece. All Ohio stores – both physical and online – are required to participate in the sales tax holiday.

"Sales tax leave is a win-win situation for both families and businesses," said Ohio Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg. "It offers a mid-range tax cut for families sending children back to school, providing a spike for retailers who may be struggling with online retailers right now, and it's peaking in August, which is usually a slow time . "

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Melissa Gallagher, a fourth-grade teacher at Orchard Park Elementary School, said she simply spends at least $ 1

00 out of her own school bag.

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Many teachers have stocked their classrooms with the same school supplies they put on their student supply lists because they usually go out halfway through the year, she said. But with school start dates starting earlier each year, including some school areas starting on the 6th, the Kettering City school teacher said the holiday does not help as much as he could.

"The driving force behind it is Spring Test," said Gallagher. "The sooner we get to school, the more time we have to bring in."

Moving for at least a week or two would help parents and teachers more, because many can not wait until the first weekend of August, Gallagher said.

Most local businesses started the week after July 4 with the introduction of early school goods. But if parents and teachers plan to shop during the tax-free weekend, local trade managers recommend going to early Friday.

"Beat the first day in the running," said Mike Burkhart, store manager of the Meijer at 5858 N. Springboro Pike in Moraine. "Get what you need, because the hot items will go fast, it's hard to stay on them."

Friday before 5 pm, when many parents get off work, the best time to go shopping is Raheem Muahmmad-Terrell, senior leader of the team at 2490 N. Fairfield Road in Beavercreek

But buyers who plan to shop on Saturday or Sunday , are still finding deals, said Ashley Phillips, the store manager of the Walmart 8800 Kingsridge Drive in Centerville.

"We start early in the morning when we have the widest range, and then we will fill it up every single night," Phillips said.

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According to Gordon Gough, President and CEO of Ohio's Council of Retail Merchants, retailers see between five and nine percent more sales during the tax-free weekend, which first began in Ohio in 2015.

Gov. John Kasich signed a bill that made tax-free leave early in the year a permanent law.

"We have data from the last two years that show there is a big increase over the weekend," said Antani. "We would like to host a Black Friday-like event in August."

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While the holidays save consumers some money, it costs the government. This year's holiday is expected to reduce state sales, and will add $ 15.2 million in tax revenue and $ 3.7 million in revenue to counties and traffic agencies, according to an analysis by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission

"There will certainly be a tax revenue impact for the state, but the state will also see an indirect economic impact that helps offset that fiscal impact," said Chris Kershner, executive vice president for the Dayton Chamber of Commerce.

The increased activity of buyers is expected to offset tax losses, increasing the number of trips to restaurants, gas stations and other places where consumers can spend money during the weekend. These include cross-border activities.

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Antani said it was likely that Ohio would buy from neighbors in the West because Indiana offered no tax-free vacation. On the other side of the state, Kershner said the weekend will help keep some sales in Ohio, as neighboring Pennsylvania does not charge VAT on most clothing or textbooks throughout the year.

"As online shopping becomes more and more important, we work with our government officials and our companies to engage in public-private partnerships to support our local retailers," said Kershner.

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