Houstonians Get Ready For Long Tax-Free Weekend

This weekend’s sales tax holiday is estimated to save Texans $92 million.

The Texas state Legislature created the sales tax holiday in 1999.

For three days every year, consumers are spared the combined state and local sales tax of 8.25 percent on most clothing, footwear, backpacks and school supplies under $100.

Randy Osborne plans on buying clothes for his three boys, ages 6 through 8.

“It comes out to a little bit of a discount, but anything to save a few bucks, I guess, in this day and age,” he said.

Susan Dugat is passing because of the many people expected in stores this weekend.

“I guess we’re lucky that we can pay that and forego the lines,” she said. “It’s worth the 8 percent to us.”

Chris Bryan with the state comptroller’s office said since its inception, the sales tax holiday has saved Texans more than $1 billion.

Of course, that’s $1 billion the state has missed out on.

“I think overall this sort of economic activity is not just about revenue from sales tax,” Bryan said. “It’s really also, one, about returning some of that money to Texas shoppers and making sure that they can save a little bit of money when they’re out preparing for the new school year, but also making sure that those retailers out there are getting folks through the doors.”

Critics claim the sales tax holiday has no positive effect on the economy and only ends up costing the state.


Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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