Texas' annual tax-free shopping holiday starts today


Shoppers can save the 8.25 percent sales tax on most back-to-school items under $99.

"That's a big deal if you're buying for two kids," said Melanie Tan.

And that's why she is here -- to save money on back to school items for tax-free weekend which started Friday morning.

"I am looking for uniforms, so it's the first thing on my list," Tan said.

"It saves us a little money, especially on the uniforms, stuff like that, shoes," said shopper Jose Reyes.

The tax-free weekend lacks the midnight madness of the day after Thanksgiving, but stores like Walmart do see customers getting excited about the savings.

"In this economy, some people stretch paycheck to paycheck; it allows them to get more for their money," said Jeff Randall, Walmart store manager.

The store has special signs pointing customers to the items which qualify as tax-free, and many people are shopping for more than back to school, like Carmen Rivera, a grandmother in charge of buying the extras.

"The socks and clothes for them, clothes for us. You can spend almost two to three hundred dollars and it's tax free," said Rivera.

Shoppers at Texas businesses saved $64 million on sales tax last year alone. Many of them waiting until the tax-free holiday to make purchases.

"This is such a big help, extremely big help," Rivera said.

Stay with Eyewitness News for continuing coverage of the tax free holiday. Action 13's Jeff Ehling and Patricia Lopez will have live reports at Eyewitness News at 4pm and on Live at Five.

The tax-free holiday begins Friday, August 17 and ends Sunday, August 19.

For a full list of what's included in tax-free shopping and what's not, visit the Texas comptroller's website here: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxpubs/taxholiday/d/

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