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Ohio Sales Tax Holiday: What to buy, what not to buy this weekend

Retailers complain spending limits are too low for inflationary times
7 must-see back to school deals to grab now
Posted at 10:37 AM, Aug 04, 2022

MONROE, Ohio — Get ready to shop! Ohio's annual sales tax holiday for 2022 starts Friday August 5th and runs all weekend.

With inflation running at 9 percent, and stimulus checks long gone, shoppers like Linda Noyes, who was browsing the Cincinnati Premium Outlets this week, are looking forward to a tax free shopping weekend.

"I can't wait," Noyes said, while shopping with her daughter. "I hope to look around today and see what we can find, and come back."

She will find lots of clothing available tax-free starting Friday.

So what qualifies for a sales tax break this weekend?

  • Clothing items $75 or less per item.
  • School supplies $20 or less per item.

Anne Winegardner of Premium Outlets says all clothing qualifies, which means you don't have to shop only for children's clothes, a common misconception.

"No you certainly don't have to stick with children's items." she said. "A lot of our stores that offer kids clothes also offer adult clothing, so you can take advantage of tax-free savings no matter what."

More expensive items won't qualify, again

But many retailers are saying the spending limits (set by Ohio lawmakers in 2015) are far too low for these inflationary times.

Notebooks, paper, and pens will qualify, as will an inexpensive backpack costing under $20, the type sold in Walmart and Target.

That pricey LL Bean backpack? Sorry.

In addition, a $100 pair of Nike or other name-brand gym shoes will not qualify for a tax break: they must cost $75 or less.

A bigger issue is that you can't purchase a laptop or iPad for a child tax-free.

Lora Miller of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchantssays that unlike in many other states, electronics still don't qualify for tax-free shopping in Ohio, which hurts families struggling to pay for $300 laptops.

"Certainly we would like to see the amount per item increased, adding things like computers, laptops, handheld devices, the kind of things kids need nowadays."

The good news is that most kids clothing does qualify.

And while the sales tax varies by county, you will save roughly $7 to $8 for every $100 you spend this weekend.

Shoppers from other states welcome, online shopping too

Two more things to know:

Kentucky and Indiana shoppers can benefit from the holiday too, if they cross the state line and shop in Ohio.

Finally, the tax break applies to online shopping as well. You should not be taxed if you put in an Ohio address into Amazon, so you don't waste your money.

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