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Government & Politics

Senate Passes Bill to Make Annual Sales Tax Holiday Permanent

photo of Ohio Statehouse cupola

Ohio is the only midwest state that’s had a sales tax holiday for the last three years. And now the Senate has unanimously approved a bill that would guarantee it would be an annual event.

The sales tax holiday for school items up to $20 and clothing up to $75 has been scheduled in early August since 2015. Republican Sen. Kevin Bacon of Columbus sponsored the permanent holiday, so lawmakers don’t have to keep passing bills on it.

“And the General Assembly is free every year to continue to make changes to the bill, to change the dollar amounts, to change the dates – perhaps you’ll find that there’s a better weekend for it, for whatever reason.”

Supporters say sales tax holidays help low-income people and that tax collections go up then as shoppers buy other non-exempt items. But critics say these events just shift when consumers buy things, and that they’re complicated for retailers, some of whom raise their prices.