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State Lawmaker Seeks to Expand Tax Free Back to School Shopping

a photo of a backpack with school supplies
Ohioans could see more items available tax free during the back to school shopping season.

As Ohio students return to school, many do so with items purchased during the state’s annual sales tax holiday in early August. Ohio is one of 16 states offering sales-tax free weekends for back to school shopping. 

A state lawmaker is proposing a bill to make even more items tax free during that weekend next year.

School supplies up to $20 and clothing up to $75 can be purchased during the sales-tax free weekend. State Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) wants to increase the spending limits for both to $100 per item. And he wants to add exemptions for much more expensive laptops and iPads.

"Technology is ever growing in importance in education," Antani said. "Students need these technologies in the classroom, so we wanted to make laptops and iPads included."

Though some experts say sales tax free weekends cost states money and don’t bring big savings to customers, Antani says a study showed Ohioans saved more than $3 million in sales tax in 2015 and increased economic activity, especially from other states.