Tax-Free Holiday Enters 10th Year

The annual Texas sales tax holiday is this weekend. Most clothing and shoes priced less than a hundred dollars can be purchased tax free. Pat Hernandez says the Houston lawmaker responsible sys the shoppers' gain is not expected to have significant impact on sales tax collections.
Shoppers in Texas are expected to save about 54-million dollars in sales tax from Friday through Sunday.

"When we passed this bill back in 1999, most people thought it was a fluke, it wouldn't be that popular, not many people would show up. The stores in Texas have been swamped every year."

State Senator Rodney Ellis authored the bill creating the break for consumers getting ready for the start of school.

"During last year's sales tax holiday, Texans saved 52.1 million dollars in state and local taxes. Since this bill passed, Texans have saved nearly 338 million dollars in taxes. That's about 305 million in state taxes, and 83 million in local taxes."

Residents who live in bordering states come to Texas to take advantage of the weekend. According to the state comptroller, The slowing national economy has had little effect on Texas as a whole. Ellis says the tax-free weekend will mean a shot for revenue.

"Retailers realize that this holiday is going to get a lot of people in here to buy other items. So, it's worth on one hand giving up that small amount in sales taxes the state will have to give up, but you have more people buying. That helps the economy.


"It's good for sales."

Ed Smith is regional vice president for public relations with Macy's.

"Because it's good for the consumer. They can save some money, we can move goods. So, it's very good."

For the most part, shoppers I spoke to are anxious to take advantage of the savings, but not all.

"No, because it's too crowded and too congested, and it's just too many people."

"I do think that it's awesome, because of the economy now, the way things are now. I think it's outstanding that any kind of break that parents can get. So yeah, I think it's great and I think that if they could maybe do it a little bit more often."

Senator Ellis would like to see it someday expanded for one week, if not, consecutive weekends. Click here for a complete list of tax free items, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs and Sales Tax Holiday.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF...Houston Public Radio News.
Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...