GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Back-to-school shopping: 3 things to know

It’s still only July, but retailers have been promoting their back-to-school sales for weeks now and the big push starts next weekend when Ohio’s sales tax holiday begins for the third year.

Ohio’s sales tax holiday, which begins Friday and ends at midnight Sunday, offers sales tax exemptions on certain items for back-to school shoppers. The deal includes clothing priced up to $75 and school supplies and instruction materials priced under $20. Here’s what you need to know:

1. What does the sales tax holiday mean for consumers?

Ohio’s initial sales tax holiday in August 2015 boosted sales tax revenues by $4.7 million and saved shoppers $3.3 million on sales tax, according to a study from the University of Cincinnati. Local business officials expect to see that revenue increase again this weekend.

2. How did the sales tax holiday begin?

Ohio’s initial sales tax holiday in August 2015 boosted sales tax revenues by $4.7 million and saved shoppers $3.3 million on sales tax, according to a study from the University of Cincinnati. Local business officials expect to see that revenue increase again this weekend.

» RELATED: Before Ohio’s sales tax holiday, retailers push back-to-school sales

3. How has spending changed for back-to-school shopping?

Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average $687.72 each, for a total of $29.5 billion, an 8 percent increase from last year’s $27.3 billion nationwide. Total spending is the second-highest in the history of the survey following a peak of $30.3 billion in 2012.

What people are buying for school has also changed in recent years. As students enter into high school and college, they are often required or encouraged to buy more electronics like calculators, specific types of laptops and other accessories.

» RELATED: Meijer adds home delivery services in Dayton, Cincinnati

Among electronics shoppers, 45 percent said they would buy a laptop computer while more than a third plan to purchase a tablet or a calculator. One in four consumers plan to purchase electronic accessories such as a mouse, flash drive or charger.

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