Tax-free weekend kicks off soon

HOUSTON Backpacks finally made the list last year. This year school supplies are on it too, things like pencils, paper and notebooks.

The sales tax break gives parents a chance to keep the 8.25 percent state tax usually charged to items. But the real savings come when you add in the sales from the merchants.

It is not uncommon for stores to give a 40, 50, even 60 percent discount on top of the sales tax and that really adds up.

"These are uniform pants and as you see they retail at $32.00 and they will be 50 percent off for the one day sale and with that, 50 off it will be $16 and then you get another 8.25 percent, which is the tax savings off that, so it will bring it to around $14 or $13.50. So great savings," said Brendan Halford with Macy's.

There has been a lot of talk about the recession and how it will impact the state and if this is a good time for tax holidays. We spoke with Texas Comptroller Susan Combs about that issue and she says right now, sales tax revenue is down about 6 percent from a year ago. But the sales tax weekend usually produces a bump in collections because parents can use the savings to buy items that are not tax exempt.

She expects Texas families to save $65 million because of the tax free weekend. It starts this Friday and runs through Sunday.

But not everything is tax free over the weekend. Get the full list of what's on the list and what's not.

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