Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Perry Encourages Texans to Take Advantage of Sales Tax Holiday

Thursday, August 20, 2009  •  Press Release

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today ceremonially signed House Bill 1801, which will save Texas families $9 million in state and local sales taxes by adding school supplies to the list of exempt items for the annual state sales tax holiday.

"As students across Texas head back to school, they will reap the benefit of investments that our state has continued to make in education, and this weekend’s sales tax holiday will help our students get the supplies they need," Gov. Perry said. "I encourage Texans to take advantage of the break from paying sales tax on school supplies this weekend."

While shoes and clothing priced under $100 have been exempt from sales taxes during the holiday since its inception in 1999, HB 1801 adds a variety of school supplies to the exemption list, ranging from pens and pencils to scissors and calculators. Eligible supplies and backpacks priced under $100 will be exempt from sales taxes provided they were purchased for use by a student in a public or private elementary or secondary school during the sales tax holiday. The law specifies 27 items eligible for exemption. A copy of the list can be found at http://cpa.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxpubs/tx98_490/tx98_490.html.

"This important piece of legislation will offer relief to families struggling to provide all the things their children need for a successful start to school," Rep. Dwayne Bohac said. "This bill will free up money that is needed to buy lunch tickets, clothes and shoes, and to pay for doctor’s checkups or haircuts. More Texas children will start school with the necessary supplies thanks to this bill."

"It's no secret the economy has changed many families' spending habits, especially as Texans try to balance tighter budgets with their children's back-to-school shopping needs," Comptroller Susan Combs said. "Families will save an estimated $65.7 million in state and local sales taxes in this year's sales tax holiday on school supplies, backpacks and clothing priced under $100. Since the annual tax-free shopping began in 1999, shoppers have saved $442 million."

This year’s tax free weekend runs from 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 21, until midnight on Sunday, August 23.

For more information about Texas’ sales tax holiday, please visit http://www.window.state.tx.us/.


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