Friday, September 22, 2017

RELEASE: Rep. Retherford Announces Passage of Legislation Eliminating Tax on Prescription Eyewear

COLUMBUS—State Representative Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) announced passage of House Bill 116, sponsored by State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township), which eliminates the sales and use tax on prescription lenses, frames, contacts or other devices that aid an individual’s vision.

Countless Ohioans rely on prescription eyewear on a daily basis in order to perform tasks such as driving or reading, as well as basic job duties. Eliminating the tax will alleviate burdensome and unnecessary expenses for Ohio families, and will save taxpayers an estimated $29 million annually.

“Prescription glasses allow those who need them to be able to function in school, life and work,” said Retherford. “Providing them with an exemption on sales tax, as we do with other necessities, is just common sense. The basic necessity of prescription glasses is important for thousands of Ohioans.”

Other pharmaceutical and prosthetic equipment are not currently taxed in Ohio, making prescription eyewear the only medically necessary equipment sold in traditional retail stores that is taxed.

“I was pleased to support House Bill 116 as it passed the Ohio House today,” Retherford stated. “Providing citizens with tax relief on this basic necessity is another step that we are taking to ensure that Ohio is the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

This tax also puts Ohio retailers at a disadvantage considering Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia have all eliminated the sales tax on prescription eyewear. This leads many consumers to cross state lines to purchase their glasses. Ohio is one of only 14 states that taxes the optical aids.

House Bill 116 now goes to the Ohio Senate where it awaits further consideration.