College Students Could Save Money With New Tax Exemption Proposal

Oct 31, 2017

Buying textbooks can cost college students hundreds and even thousands of dollars every semester. Some state lawmakers see this as a burden beyond already high out-of-pocket expenses. Now there's a plan to try to lighten the load.

A House committee opened debate on a bill that would exempt college text books from the sales tax.

Representative Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) says this can just be one step in the effort to make college more affordable.

“I think it’s just hard with a straight face to say we’re doing everything we can for college students and still tax them on textbooks.”

A fiscal analysis in 2015 found that the tax on textbooks generates about $30 million in revenue.

Acknowledging the possible fiscal impact, Duffey says one idea is to trigger the exemption once the budget reaches a certain threshold.

A student pays about $30 in state taxes for every $500 spent on books.