Back-to-school is right around the corner which means the arrival of Texas’ annual Sales Tax Holiday, which has been an annual event since 1999. This year’s sales tax holiday begins Friday, Aug. 9, and goes through midnight Sunday, Aug. 11. Shoppers will pay no state or local sales tax on many schools supplies, most clothing and shoes priced under $100. Lay-away plans can also be used to take advantage of the sales tax holiday.

As in previous years, the law exempts most clothing and footwear priced under $100 from sales and use taxes. Backpacks under $100 used by elementary and secondary students are also exempt. The backpack exemption includes backpacks with wheels, provided they can also be worn on the back like a traditional backpack, and messenger bags. The exemption does not include items that are reasonably defined as luggage, briefcases, athletic/duffle/gym bags, computer bags, purses or framed backpacks.

In addition to clothes, footwear and backpacks, Texas families also get a sales tax break on most school supplies priced at less than $100 purchased for use by a student in an elementary or secondary school.

No exemption certificate is required for holiday purchases -with one exception. If the purchaser is buying the supplies under a business account, the retailer must obtain an exemption certificate from the purchaser certifying that the items are purchased for use by an elementary or secondary school student. “Under a business account” means the purchaser is using a business credit card or business check rather than a personal credit card or personal check.

To assist families who are planning to take advantage of the savings, the Comptroller’s website provides a list of tax-free items. This list can be found online at Sales Tax Holiday.

If you have any questions regarding the annual Sales Tax Holiday, please don’t hesitate to contact either my Capitol or District office. It’s a busy time of year for parents so my offices are available to assist at any time to with questions, concerns or comments. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).

State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32

Rep. Hunter represents Nueces (Part) County. He can be contacted at toddhunter@house.texas.gov or at 512-463-0672.