Tax Holiday Expected to Boost Retailers

This weekend Texas shoppers will hit the stores for the annual sales tax holiday which is underway now through Sunday. The state comptroller estimates consumers will save 62-million dollars in sales tax over the course of the weekend.

The sales tax holiday is in its 13th year in Texas and is increasingly popular. It covers school supplies, backpacks and most clothing priced under $100.

Texas Retailers Association President Ronnie Volkening says some stores stock up and treat it almost like the Thanksgiving holiday.

"The beautiful thing about the sales tax holiday is it gives consumers a great opportunity to save that 8.25 percent on school supplies and clothing that their kiddos need to go back to school. But oftentimes, empowered with those savings they go on to buy other items that are still taxable that weekend. And it has shown to be something that saves consumers money, but also generates additional sales tax revenue for the state."

Volkening says retailers track their sales this weekend because it can be an indicator of consumer behavior for the upcoming holiday season. If sales are strong now, there's a good chance things will go well on Black Friday and thereafter.

"Most all major retailers do track this pretty closely and they expect to have some increased activity. And I've been told by many of them that they do actually go out and hire some part-time help to get them through the weekend in expectation of that increased activity. So there's actually a good little jobs boost that goes along with the weekend."

There's a list of eligible tax-free clothing and supplies on the website texastaxholiday.org.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...