BACK TO SCHOOL: Texas’ Sales Tax holiday happening this weekend

Tax-free weekend is Aug. 5-7

HOUSTON – This weekend marks the 23rd annual Sales Tax Holiday in the state of Texas. The holiday, created in 1999 by Commissioner Rodney Ellis, is intended to help parents who may be short on cash to get what their child needs for the school year.

Beginning this Friday, parents will not be required to pay sales taxes on back-to-school supplies including clothes, backpacks, and footwear under $100.

Some of the items you might not expect on the list are diapers, work uniforms, leather items, and workout clothes.

This is a good time to stock up to save, but also to buy smart -- only buy things you know you’ll use.

You can print out the lists below to help plan your shopping trip.

Just a note: “T” means taxable. “E” means exempt. The items marked with “E” are the ones you won’t have to pay tax on this weekend.

During the tax holiday, qualifying items can also be purchased tax-free online or by phone, mail, custom order, or in-store purchases when either:

  • the item is both delivered to and paid for by, the customer during the exemption period; or
  • the customer orders and pays for the item, and the seller accepts the order during the exemption period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the exemption period ends.

Clothing and school supplies that can be purchased tax-free are listed on the Comptroller’s website at TexasTaxHoliday.org.

On Thursday, elected officials across the state of Texas came together to help parents get their children prepared to head back into the classroom.

Additionally, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, and Ron Reynolds say they are calling on the state to update and expand the legislation for the tax break, stating that the $100 and under rule within the policy is no longer worth what it once was.

“When I first passed the legislation creating the sales tax holiday, the thinking was that working people -- that single mom barely making ends meet – needed a break,” Commissioner Ellis said. “And since that time, Sales Tax Holidays have been the most significant taxpayer relief this state has had in 25 years. Unfortunately, that legislation passed in 1999 isn’t meeting the needs of working families in 2022. Back in 1999, $100 was worth about $170 in spending power today. It’s time to raise the per-item limit, extend the holiday to at least a full week, and include electronic devices that are required of so many students today.”

Texas’ tax-free weekend begins on Friday, Aug. 5.


About the Authors:

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.

Award-winning journalist, mother, YouTuber, social media guru, millennial, mentor, storyteller, University of Houston alumna and Houston-native.