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College Students Could Save Money With New Tax Exemption Proposal

Jo Ingles
Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Worthington)

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.

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