Tax-free weekend is under way in Texas

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by MATT GOODMAN

WFAA

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 18 at 9:37 AM

 DALLAS – Shoppers, snag a cart: Tax-free weekend is upon us. 

The annual sales tax reprieve began at midnight Thursday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday. It saves consumers about $8 on every $100 spent. The goal is to give parents a break on clothing, footwear, backpacks, school supplies and other necessities that retail for less than $100. 

The state comptroller’s office notes that any single item that sells for more than that amount will be subject to the state’s standard 8.25 percent rate. Also not part of the deal: any footwear or clothing designed specifically for specialized use.  For example, sales tax still applies to soccer cleats and football pads.

But during the 81st Legislative Session in 2009, lawmakers passed House Bill 1801, which put a strict definition on what constitutes a "backpack" –– not luggage, not a briefcase, not an athletic or a duffel bag –– and specified a range of applicable school supplies that will be exempt from sales tax this weekend. 

So, parents and students needing pens, calculators, glue, crayons, rulers and binders can save a few dollars if they buy them this weekend. 

This year, items bought online that fall under the state’s approved list will also be spared sales tax. 

But for those who want to brave the crowds and save a few bucks, wade on in this weekend. For all others, just take this story as a warning. 

And keep in mind, the region’s newest outlet mall opened in Grand Prairie Friday. Paragon Outlets held its grand opening to coincide with the sales tax holiday. And here's some resources and information offered by the comptroller's office.

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