It’s Sales Tax Holiday Time Again
By Carlos Morales
Texas’ tax-free weekend begins today and runs through Sunday, and Texans can get a break from state and local taxes on certain back-to-school items.
The state created the tax holiday in 1999. The law’s author, Sen. Rodney Ellis, says the state’s current budget crunch has lawmakers looking for more money wherever they can. That could include the estimated $65 million shoppers are expected to save on taxes this weekend.
But Ellis says the holiday is too important to repeal.
“The $65 million that the state loses for the sales tax holiday every year is really a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars, the billions of dollars in giveaways to energy companies, the ag extension, that are in the tax code,” Ellis said.
For every $100 Texans spend this weekend, they’ll save about $8. Gov. Rick Perry says it’s something the state can continue to afford.
“The state of Texas, from the standpoint of economically, is doing better than any other state in the nation,” Perry said at an appearance at a Wal-Mart in San Marcos. “And the idea that we leave money in private citizens’ hands is a good concept, and it’s one that other states should try.”
The online retailer Amazon will be giving the concept a try this weekend. But according to the state comptroller’s office, online retailers have been able to join the tax holiday since it began.
“Ever since the sales tax holiday was implemented in 1999, Internet sales and catalog sales have been part of the sales tax holiday,” said R.J. DeSilva with the comptroller’s office. “It applies to the whole realm of retail stores and outlets that sell these qualifying items.”
Those items include clothes, shoes, backpacks and school supplies. A complete list of items going untaxed this weekend is available here.