Ohio consumers will once again get a back-to-school sales tax break on clothing and school supplies with the state’s sixth sales tax-free holiday, which will run Aug. 7-9. During that time, the state sales and use tax of 5.75 percent will be waived on certain purchases.

The legislation calls for sales tax breaks or tax exemptions on clothing priced up to $75 each and school supplies up to $20 each, whether bought in stores or online.

The sales tax holiday, which is now part of the permanent law, was sponsored by State Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson.

“I remain an enthusiastic supporter of the legislation, especially at this time when family budgets are under stress, the sales tax provides further relief,” he said. “Further, it should help our businesses which have endured financial hardships due to COVID-19.”

Ashtabula County Commissioner Kathryn Whittington said the holiday is a help to local families and a boost to the local economy.

“The sales tax holiday focuses on allowing residents to further their dollar while locally shopping here in Ashtabula County,” she said. “It’s a great resource for families to see some savings.”

The Ohio sales tax holiday saved consumers more than $4 million on almost $48 million worth of back-to-school purchases.

The National Retail Federation estimates total spending nationwide for K-12 schools and college combined will reach $102 billion, exceeding little more than last year’s $80.7 billion.

While the tradition of picking out new backpacks, lunch boxes, folders and notebooks may be the same, the way consumers approach shopping has changed in recent years.

The NRF identified four trends in back-to-school shopping:

• More than half of consumers plan their shopping around the tax-free weekend and will be looking at retailers for deals.

• More than half of consumers will do at least some of their shopping online.

• Along with the winter holidays, back-to-school shopping is one of the top spending events for consumers, edging out Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day combined.

• Clothes and electronics are the biggest budget items on shoppers’ lists.

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