LIMA — Before families take advantage of tax-free weekend sales, Offers.com suggest that Ohioans utilize coupons, research store discounts, and utilize options like layaway and online ordering.
Tax Free Weekend this year starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ends at midnight on Sunday.
This is the fourth consecutive year of the tax relief in Ohio, made possible by House Bill 49. Senate Bill 226 has established the tax-free weekend as a permanent day.
The purpose of the bill was to help parents buy all of their children’s back-to-school needs.
“This weekend’s 3-day tax free holiday, provides a great chance for families to save their hard-earned money,” said Rep. Craig Riedel, R-Defiance, in a news release.
Although the tax-free exemption does not apply to purchases on things like vehicles, household items or food , the sale does apply to various back-to-school items including:
Clothing — priced at $75 per item or less
• wedding apparel
• rain wear
School Supplies — priced at $20 per item or less
• book bags
• reference books
• work books
Offers.com spokesperson Sarah Hollenbeck encourages shoppers to bring in coupons, as those discounts will be added in addition to the tax exception.
“For coupons, it does help to be underneath that price rage before the coupon applies, but you can get an even bigger discount,” said Hollenbeck.
She also suggests that shoppers research stores in the area in advance to find out any additional sales that they made have. Shoppers will also have the opportunity to utilize layaway during the weekend, or they can shop online. Ohioans who shop online will have to place their order during the tax-free weekend period.
Jamie Burger, owner of Simply Torn boutique on 1935 Elida Road, said that, in the past, she has noticed mainly moms shopping in her store to buy clothing for their school-aged children.
However, this year, she said, there are already middle-aged shoppers who are currently shopping and looking to come back during the tax-free weekend to get additional discounts.
“It seems like more people are aware of it this year than before,” said Burger.
In 2016, an average family with school-aged children spent an estimated $673, according to the National Retail Federation.
State Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, expects Ohioans to save millions of dollars this year on back-to-school shopping.
“The people of Ohio deserve to keep more of the money they earn so that they can more easily provide these essentials for their families,” said McColley. “That’s why I voted to permanently renew this sales tax holiday — so that parents can take advantage of these savings year after year.”
Hollenbeck expects that 70 percent or more Ohioans or more will be shopping this weekend. Consumers on average will save 5.75 percent on purchases, according to offers.com
Kohls, Walmart and Best Buy will be three of the most shopped stores in Ohio during the sale, according to BlackFriday.com.
“This weekend is a great opportunity for Ohioans to stock up on supplies for the school year,” said McColley in a news release. “As a result of this tax relief effort, many working families in our state will be more empowered to send their children to school ready to learn.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.