Every year, Ohioans anticipate the busy holiday shopping season and the great deals that come with it. What many don’t consider is the impact that this shopping season has on the state’s economy.
Since 2010, Christmas sales have gone up 15.2 percent according to the Ohio Department of Taxation, growing at a rate of 3.7 percent each year. Last Christmas alone, Ohio brought in $240 million in sales taxes, meaning $4.1 billion was added to the economy in November and December 2014. This was a 12.7 percent increase over the 2013 Christmas season.
The Christmas shopping season is an indicator of how our economy is growing. It shows how much extra money families have to spend on gifts and entertaining through this joyous season. The growth that we have seen over the past several Christmas seasons is a great sign for our state’s economy and the economic conditions our families are facing.
As Ohio’s economy continues to grow, so do our local economies. In the 84th House District, local sales tax revenues during the Christmas season have consistently increased over the past 5 years. From Christmas 2010 to Christmas 2014, sales tax revenues increased 17.2 percent in Auglaize County, 25.2 percent in Darke County, 23.2 percent in Mercer County, and a whopping 61.2 percent in Shelby County.
This significant growth in sales tax revenues, both locally and statewide, indicates that Ohioans are better off today than they were five years ago. Our economy is growing, more people are working, and people have more money to spend. More money is being pumped into our local businesses which then translates into job creation. Recently, a report by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services shows that unemployment rates in western Ohio are the lowest they’ve been in 15 years. More people working means more money circulating through our local economy.
The National Retail Federation predicts national Christmas sales to grow another 3.7 percent nationally, making Christmas 2015 one of the largest yet. However, I predict that this growth will be even greater in Ohio. Ohio’s growth outpaces the rest of that nation, and it is no accident. Governor John Kasich has led Ohio with strong economic policies that encourage growth. I have served under five governors throughout my time in the Legislature, and Gov. Kasich is among the best. As Ohio continues to bounce back, I am confident that this will be one of the best Christmases we’ve ever seen.
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The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.