LANSING, Mich., June 28, 2021 — State Reps. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) and Nate Shannon (D-Sterling Heights) recently introduced House Bills 5175-5176 to help make back-to-school shopping more affordable in Michigan. The bills would create a “tax holiday” on the third Saturday in August of each year, eliminating both the sales and use taxes on certain items purchased on that date.

“Contrary to popular belief, distance learning didn’t lower the costs of school supplies for teachers,” Koleszar said. “In fact, teachers spent an average of $745 on school supplies during the 2019-2020 school year. Every day, Michigan teachers are putting the needs of their students first. We have a responsibility to fully support them by paying them what they are worth and funding our schools, so they don’t have to pay for classroom supplies out of their pockets. Until then, this legislation is a small step in the right direction.”

Some of the items eligible for the tax exemptions would include clothing, school supplies such as notebooks, pencils, binders, calculators and lunchboxes; and personal computers and personal computer accessories. The bill does set price limits for individual items that fall into any of the eligible categories.

“Today’s students need a wide range of materials to take full advantage of the educational experience. The cost of backpacks, pencils, notebooks, computers and clothes can add up quickly,” Shannon said. “This tax holiday will put money back in the pockets of families and go a long way to ensuring that our students don’t have to make sacrifices on their educational supplies.”

Both bills are a reintroduction of HBs HB 4824 and 4825 of 2019.