sales tax

Picture of elementary school classroom

Ohio is making back-to-school shopping a little easier this weekend. The state’s Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday and runs until Sunday.

The holiday provides an exemption on sales tax for certain back-to-school items at all Ohio stores, both online and in-store.

Tim Lynch is the Legislative Director for the Ohio Department of Taxation. He says it’s an effort to bring more business to Ohio retailers and make school supply shopping easier for families.

a photo of computer on a table

State lawmakers have said they want an income tax cut in the upcoming budget, but Gov. Mike DeWine wants them to invest big money in children’s initiatives and the opioid crisis. That has some looking in and out of state for money so they can do both. 

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.

photo of Gov. Kasich signing bills

Gov. John Kasich has signed 15 bills into law before leaving for a holiday break.

One big bill revises eligibility for annual cost of living adjustments for school employee retirees, changes tax reimbursements for schools and exempts glasses and contacts from sales tax beginning July 1st, 2019.

photo of money

If you need to buy some school supplies for the kids or even some new clothes for yourself, this might be the weekend to do it. You won’t pay sales tax on many items purchased in Ohio because of the state’s sales tax holiday.

There's no sales tax on many back-to-school items under $20, and clothing under $75.

Ohio House Pushes Back on Gov. Kasich's Budget

Apr 29, 2017
Photo of the Statehouse Capola.

Gov. John Kasich’s $67 billion budget got ripped apart and put back together by House Republicans, who stripped out his key tax reforms and put more money into other areas. Part of the reason was because nearly a half a billion dollars had to be trimmed from it, and more cuts are likely to come later. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler sat down with the top lawmakers who’ve been studying the budget before a vote on it next week.

photo of tampons

Some Ohio lawmakers are pushing a bill they say would save consumers about $4 million a year. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports the bill would benefit women in particular.

It’s called the “pink tax.” Those are taxes on tampons and other feminine hygiene products. House Democrats are pushing a bill that would make those items exempt from the state’s sales tax. 

It’s not a new idea. It was proposed in the last General Assembly but failed to advance. But this time around, three Republican lawmakers have signed on to it as co-sponsors.

photo of Rep. Ryan Smith and Rep. Fred Strahorn

Ohio House and Senate leaders have begun examining many of Gov. John Kasich’s tax proposals. While many ideas are being considered, one seems to be off the table.

Democratic House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn of Dayton says Kasich’s sales tax hike of half a percentage point means people will really be paying nearly 9 percent more than they do now.

“They say things that sound good but the reality for the average Ohioan is probably a lot different than what that sounds like.”

The state’s highest court will decide whether internet retailers who sell products in Ohio but have no offices or employees here have to pay a tax that nearly all Ohio businesses pay.

Statehouse Correspondent Karen Kasler reports the question before the court centers on what the definition of "doing business" in Ohio actually is.

photo of Ohio Senate Ways and Means Committee

 The state’s retailers are pushing lawmakers to put in place permanently a three-day sales tax holiday in August for clothing and school supplies. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports they have a new study that shows big numbers to support it.