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Ohio Lawmakers Make the State Sales Tax Holiday Permanent

A photo of clothing on a sales floor
The sales tax holiday applies to school supplies and clothing one weekend in August.

Lawmakers have sent to Gov. John Kasich a bill that would make a permanent sales tax holiday one weekend in August, replacing the temporary one Ohioans have seen for the past three years. The bill also includes a provision meant to make schools safer.

Republican Rep. Tim Schaffer says the sales tax holiday helps the state’s bottom line because shoppers buy non-exempt items while taking advantage of the tax-free school supplies.

“The state of Ohio, because of all of the extra things families buy, enjoyed in last year’s sales tax holiday a $4.7 million increase in tax revenue for that month," Schaffer said.

But critics say that often just means less revenue in another month, and add that retailers sometimes raise their prices during the holiday.

The bill also contains a provision that allows county educational service centers to levy a property tax specifically to fund security and mental health services for schools.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.