In case you haven't heard, Ohio has passed a "Sales Tax Holiday" this year: from Friday, August 7, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. to Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 11:59 p.m., certain items purchased at retail won't be subject to sales tax.
Get Your Shopping On
Other states have had these in past years, and some are "Back to School" shopping traditions. Usually, the idea is to help families who are forced to purchase a large amount of school supplies and clothing for their children before the school year starts, as well as teachers who are purchasing supplies and instructional materials for their classrooms.
What is Exempt?
The bottom line for items that are exempt from Ohio sales tax during the tax holiday are clothing items that cost less that $75 (sorry, no designer jeans or sneakers!) and supplies and materials that cost less $20. For the average family with elementary-age children, this should apply to the majority of what they are planning to purchase for back-to-school.
Sorry, college kids, you're out of luck, since we know that NOTHING you have to purchase for class costs less than $20.
When we dug a little further into the details of what is considered "clothing," we wondered what decade (make that century) the writers of the guidelines were living in. Check out some of the highly-sought-after items on this list:
“Clothing” is defined as all human wearing apparel suitable for general use. “Clothing” includes, but is not limited to, shirts; blouses; sweaters; pants; shorts; skirts; dresses; uniforms (athletic and nonathletic); shoes and shoe laces; insoles for shoes; sneakers; sandals; boots; overshoes; slippers; steel-toed shoes; underwear; socks and stockings; hosiery; pantyhose; footlets; coats and jackets; rainwear; gloves and mittens for general use; hats and caps; ear muffs; belts and suspenders; neckties; scarves; aprons (household and shop); lab coats; athletic supporters; bathing suits and caps; beach capes and coats; costumes; baby receiving blankets; diapers, children and adult, including disposable diapers; rubber pants; garters and garter belts; girdles; formal wear; and wedding apparel.*
Notice, all you parents out there that DIAPERS are on the list! Time to stock up!
Also, if you're planning on getting married soon and can find a wedding dress for less than $75, you're in luck! (We would say doubly-so if you found a dress for that!)
Supplies & Materials
If you want to check your school-supply list before you get ready to shop, here's the list of what is exempt in regards to supplies and materials:
“School supplies” include only the following items: binders; book bags; calculators; cellophane tape; blackboard chalk; compasses; composition books; crayons; erasers; folders (expandable, pocket, plastic, and manila); glue, paste, and paste sticks; highlighters; index cards; index card boxes; legal pads; lunch boxes; markers; notebooks; paper; loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, and construction paper; pencil boxes and other school supply boxes; pencil sharpeners; pencils; pens; protractors; rulers; scissors; and writing tablets.*
Note that nothing purchased for trade or business from any of the lists is exempt for the holiday.
As much as some of the items mentioned in the clothing list made us giggle, we do hope that this sales tax holiday is able to help families and teachers as they prepare for the Back to School season, as well as retailers looking to boost sales for the weekend.
Mark your calendar now so you don't miss out!
*All quotes are from the 2015 Ohio Sales Tax Holiday FAQ. Visit the site for more information.
Mary Jo O'Neill