Ohio will no longer tax glasses, contact lenses starting Monday

Corrective eye glasses and contact lenses will no longer be to subject to state sales taxes starting July 1 — a change that is expected to save consumers millions of dollars, according to state officials.

The change was included in a bill that lawmakers adopted in November 2017. Hearing aides, prescription drugs and other medical devices are already exempt from the state sales tax.

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An early estimate projected the savings for consumers to be about $23.2 million a year but Legislative Service Commission Director Mark Flanders said last week that the state is likely to lose $44 million in fiscal year 2020 and $50 million in fiscal year 2021 in forgone tax revenues. LSC estimated that Ohioans will spend about $400 million on corrective eye glasses and contact lenses in 2020.

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The Ohio Optometric Association supported the change.

“Economic barriers, such as the imposition of a sales tax, make it less likely for patients to obtain the care and medical products they need,” the association said when the tax break was first proposed.

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