Ohio lawmakers move to eliminate sales tax on baby products

By: - June 2, 2023 4:45 am

Photo by Roberto Westbrook, Getty Images.

Ohio senators passed a bill Wednesday to eliminate sales tax on baby products.

For parents across Ohio, every penny counts when it comes to their kids.

“As a parent, I would do anything for them,” said Nick Tuell, a father of two. “I want to make sure that we’re giving them the life and the home that they want, that I’m able to provide for them.”

But having a one and three-year-old is pricey for the young father.

“We have two children who are currently in diapers, and that can run anywhere from $100 to $200 a month,” he said. “That is certainly taking a toll on our budget.”

Senate Bill 39, a bipartisan piece of legislation, would eliminate sales tax for certain baby products, like diapers, car seats, cribs, strollers, baby carriers and baby monitors.

“A removal of sales tax from such products would ease the financial burden of raising children and encourage people nationwide to start their family in Ohio,” said bill sponsor Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster). “This bill demonstrates that Ohio is truly pro-child and pro-family.”

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) acknowledged this is critical to help support families.

“I still think we gotta have more kids in the world,” Huffman said.

There are more proposals coming in the budget to make childcare more affordable, he added.

In the Ohio House’s budget, lawmakers eliminated $150 million in American Rescue Plan funds that were a part of the governor’s executive budget proposal to establish a childcare scholarship for “critical occupations and other direct service professionals.” Only $30 million was added in. Read more about that on News 5 Cleveland’s partner Ohio Capital Journal.

There have been no public opponents to the bill, and although Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) has been supportive of it for years, she says it doesn’t go far enough.

“Now, if we can just pay people more, that would be awesome, because then their dollars would stretch even further,” Antonio said.

Not only that, but Democratic activists, like Tuell, argue that easing this financial burden isn’t enough if Republicans continue trying to strip the state of abortion access.

“Giving a tax exemption for products doesn’t take away a policy to force pregnancy on people,” Antonio said.

Tuell said this is a step in the right direction, but more should be done to help families.

“We all just want to do what’s best for our kids, and when our politicians can help us get there, that is a win for our family,” the dad said.

It is likely this bill will end up being put into the budget, Huffman said, and could end up being passed by July.


This article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content-sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.

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Morgan Trau
Morgan Trau

Morgan Trau is a political reporter and multimedia journalist based out of the WEWS Columbus Bureau. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Trau has previously worked as an investigative, political and fact-checking reporter in Grand Rapids, Mich. at WZZM-TV; a reporter and MMJ in Spokane, Wash. at KREM-TV and has interned at 60 Minutes and worked for CBS Interactive and PBS NewsHour.