Shoppers are already in stores around North Texas to take advantage of the back-to-school sales tax holiday that began at midnight Thursday.

For the next three days, hundreds of items are exempt from the state sales tax. Most families are expecting to spend about $606 this year, up from less than $550 last year.

Tax-free items include school supplies like binders, book bags, notebooks, pens and pencils and calculators.

Clothing items, jackets and shoes are also free of state sales tax through Sunday as long as each item is priced less than $100. Check the link at the right for a complete and official list.

The sales tax holiday is the second most important period for Texas retailers; only the Christmas season is bigger.

Parents, with kids in tow, rolled into the Wal-Mart on Forest Lane on Friday ready to save.

You save a lot, said Esmeralda Escobedo. You really do.

Most families filled up their carts with clothes and school supplies.

This is the state's twelfth tax-free weekend. It's expected to save Texans close to $60 million in state and local taxes. For each $100 spent, customers can save about $8.


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