NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – This weekend is tax-free holiday time in Texas and you can save money on back-to-school items.
The sales tax holiday, that runs August 19, 20 and 21, exempts most supplies, clothing and footwear priced under $100 from taxes. Ultimately the ‘discount’ saves shoppers about $8 on every $100 spent.
Cheryl Bridges heads up the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M and says this weekend is a good time for parents.
“It’s a great time to stock up on items that are under $100, such as school supplies, shoes, jeans, lunch boxes. There are a lot of items… and the consumer can actually go online and find this.”
While there are hundreds of items included on the ‘tax-free’ list, there are just as many that aren’t. “There are a number of items including clothes, under $100, but there are also some items that really do not qualify, so it’s a good idea to check ahead of time,” explained Bridges.
Some shoppers have claimed that retailers increase their prices before the big weekend, but Bridges told KRLD NewsRadio 1080 that she’d never heard of such a case.
“I think it’s really a way to save money. I have not heard of any stores doing that; raising prices just to save the 8-percent,” she said. “I think it really is a good savings, particularly if there are items that you really need, you really want. It’s just an additional savings.”
The economy has many parents shopping differently and less often. Bridges suggests prioritizing school shopping lists.
“If it’s something that you kind of want or it’s not really a must have, if it’s not in your budget just wait until September because a lot of those items may go on sale.”
Writing down exactly what you need and some of the things you want usually helps keep parents focused. “Be a list maker and have a budget and let your child help you,” suggested Bridges. “It’s a good time for kids to learn about a budget. Say ‘okay for back to school we can spend a total of…’”
Those using lay-away can also take advantage of the sales tax holiday.
State Comptroller Susan Combs is predicting shoppers in Texas will save more than $62 million in state and local sales taxes this weekend.
Click here to find out more about the Texas tax-free holiday — including the items included and excluded from the list.