Tax free weekend means back to school savings

Published 10:01 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

One of the biggest shopping weekends of the year is back just in time for school.

The annual “Sales Tax Holiday” shopping weekend takes place Friday, Aug. 7 through Sunday, Aug. 9 across the state of Texas. Shoppers can find big savings on purchases as retailers stock up on clothing, footwear and school supplies.

The law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales tax, which could save shoppers approximately $8 on every $100 they spend during the weekend.

According to Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller, shoppers will save an estimated $87 million in state and local sales taxes during the Sales Tax Holiday.

“As the father of three young children, I know back to school expenses can really put a strain on family budgets this time of year,” Hegar said in a press release. “This is an opportunity for families to save money and prepare for the start of the school year.”

School supplies will be tax-exempt that weekend, but so will items such as baby clothes, work clothes and uniforms, diapers, shoes and boots for the whole family.

“I already have the majority of my children’s school supplies, but I will be out shopping for clothes,” said local resident Courtney Tipton. “Some of the best deals on clothes for school will be this weekend, and, if I can save some extra money and not pay sales tax, then that makes it even better.”

Additional savings may be realized from many retailers who hold back-to-school sales during the same period, and, in many cases, layaway plans can be used.

In addition to clothes, shoes and some backpacks, shoppers also will receive a sales tax break on school supplies priced at less than $100.

Items included on the tax free weekend include binders, book bags, calculators, cellophane tape, blackboard chalk, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, and a variety of folders including expandable, pocket, plastic and manila folders. Both glue paste and glue sticks are on the list.

Other items include highlighters, index cards, index card boxes, legal pads, lunch boxes, markers, notebooks, and a variety of paper such as loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board and construction paper.

Also on the list are items such as pencil boxes and other school supply boxes, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, protractors, rulers, scissors and writing tablets.

The Texas tax-holiday weekend has been an annual event since 1999. Lists of apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax free can be found on the comptroller’s website at