Don’t miss tax-free weekend

August 13, 2011

School is almost in session, but before those school bells ring, one more thing is left to complete the summertime schedule.
Tax-free weekend.
This year's Tax Free Weekend marks 13 annual weekends that Texas has been generating savings for families in the Lone Star State, which will take place on Friday, Aug. 19 through Sunday, Aug. 21. Originally set for the first weekend of August, the dates were pushed back in 2007 so that the three-day holiday would be closer to the beginning of the school year.
The hot-ticket items that can be purchased sans taxes are most clothing, footwear and backpacks, as well as a variety of school supplies — as long as they are priced under $100.
Since 2009, the list of qualifying tax-free school supplies has expanded following a bill passed by the Texas Legislature. The following is a list of some of the tax-free school supplies: construction paper, manila paper, crayons, markers, highlighters, pencils, pens, glue and glue sticks, scissors, rulers, erasers, school supply boxes, pocket folders, loose leaf ruled notebook paper, notebooks, pocket folders with brads, binders and composition books.
The list of some of the clothing, footwear and backpacks on the state's tax free list include: belts with attached buckles, cowboy or hiking boots, coats, dresses, hooded shirts/sweatshirts, jackets, jeans, pants/trousers, shirts, shoes (sandals, sneakers, tennis and walking), socks, shorts and underclothing, among other items.
Backpacks, according to the State Comptroller's Susan Combs' website, are defined as "a pack with straps one wears on the back" and also includes messenger bags and backpacks with wheels — as long as they can be worn like the traditional backpack. Those used by elementary and secondary students are tax-free during the holiday weekend.
This year, Texas joins a number of states offering a three-day, tax-free weekend, while some states offer an entire week of savings. 18 other states join the Lone Star State, along with Washington, D.C., to offer families a bit of financial relief in their back to school efforts.
A complete list of items which are eligible to be sold tax-free, along with what does not meet the requirement, can be found online at http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxpubs/tx98_490/tx98_490.html.

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