Tax-free shopping weekend is set

HOUSTON Earlier this year, state lawmakers voted to include school supplies for the first time ever, but some parents say there's still another way the state can improve the tax-free weekend.

Today, it's all about the colors and getting just the right box of highlighters. Debbie Ward is trying to get ahead of the back to school shopping rush by taking her daughter supply shopping two weeks before the statewide tax-free weekend. She's used to waiting until after school starts.

"In the high school you don't get a list from your teacher until the first day of school and every teacher wants something different. Maybe it would be better to do the weekend after school starts," said Ward.

Tax-free weekend is for items prices under $100 and is designed to save shoppers the price of sales tax, about $8 for every $100 spent.

Besides school supplies, tax-free weekend includes most clothing and footwear, backpacks for elementary and secondary students, and layaway items.

This year's tax-free weekend is scheduled for August 21 through 23, the weekend before most major school districts open for school. That leaves shoppers just a few days before school starts.

The date is written into the law and cannot be changed unless voted by the legislature. However, state lawmaker Garnet Coleman says there is another option, which is have no set date for tax-free weekend.

"What that would mean is you would monitor the start date within the different schools and make that work within that period or you could move the date to an earlier month," said State Representative Garnet Coleman of Houston.

Whether the date is pushed back or forward, we came across several parents like Sheryl Namee who say no thanks to the states offer.

"It's too crowded and for the crowds I'd rather pay the extra tax," said Namee.

More than a dozen states have sales tax holidays during the summer, but most states have theirs sooner than Texas. For example, Georgia just had its tax-free weekend. Several states like Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia have their tax-free weekends this coming weekend.

Some of the school supplies included on this year's tax free list are binders, folders, calculators, crayons, glue and paste, lunch boxes and pencil boxes, all types of paper, from loose leaf paper to manila and colored paper, rulers and scissors. Click here for the full list of eligible items.

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