If you’ve ever experienced the fervor and intensity of Black Friday shopping amidst the school supply section in July or August, you can probably thank a teacher. While people may picture teachers lounging poolside with books and umbrella drinks during the summer months, many are actually scouring the ads and strategizing to get the best back-to-school bargains for their classrooms. Teachers are on a mission; sometimes solo, other times in teams, with multiple carts and checklists to fill those classroom supply bins. Rather than buying 1 or 2 of an item to get a single child ready for the school year, teachers are often buying 20-150 or more of the back-to-school basics for all the students that become their kids for nine months of the year.
Now, thanks to Sen. Kevin Bacon, that buy, buy, buy mindset may be encountered on the first Friday in August and throughout the rest of that first weekend. The senator’s proposed tax break for another back-to-school shopping weekend has passed through the House and Senate and is awaiting the governor’s signature. This will mark the second year that Ohioans can take advantage of no sales tax on essential clothing and school supplies during the first weekend in August. The 2015 tax-free weekend saw a large increase in tax-free and taxable sales. A plus for the economy, shopper savings, and classroom supply quotas.
With teachers, students, and families, shopping for all the must haves (and a few really wants), any savings are welcome. Supplies under $20 and clothing purchase under $75 are the items where tax-free savings are given. With these incentivized savings, more shoppers are expected to hit the stores that first weekend in August, and hopefully, more students will arrive with all necessary supplies in hand! It’s probably safe to say though that most teachers will still bargain shop for all the usual items that are often used and/or mysteriously disappear over the course of the year.
A few things to keep in mind with a tax-free clothing and supply weekend:
- A tax-free weekend doesn’t guarantee the best price of the summer. It’s still important to scour the ads poolside.
- Not every back-to-school items makes the tax-free cut. Big ticket items or those that may not be deemed back-to-school (e.g., large storage bins, tennis balls for quiet desks/chairs, classroom pet supplies) won’t have tax savings.
- Don’t overspend because of a little savings. While it’s great to have the savings, if an items sits unused, those were dollars wasted.
Yes, if you’ve met a teacher, you’ve met a notorious bargain hunter. The average person would be shocked and amazed by the amount of personal dollars that teachers spend on classroom supplies and creature comforts for their students. With that in mind, the tax-free back-to-school shopping weekend that will benefit all Ohioans (and those from neighboring states that make the trek) offers a nice financial reprieve for teachers, students, and families as they purchases goods and garments to prepare for a new schoolyear.