POSTED: Friday, August 21, 2009 - 6:55pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:04am
Local stores like Levine's are boosting their numbers of employees to assist with customer inquiries
Texas legislators expanded the number of eligible items for back-to-school shoppers during this weekend's tax-free holiday, estimating that families will save nearly $66 million.
Several school supplies such as pencils and paper were added this year to the list of items under $100 that will not face the state's 8.25 percent sales or local taxes from Friday through Sunday. The effort began under former Gov. George W. Bush in 1999.
Binders, book bags, lunch boxes and scissors also made the list this year. In years past, clothing and footwear — including cowboy boots — made up Retail lobbyists pushed for the Aug. 21-23 date this year because it's the weekend most families are expected to be home before school starts. In Houston, schools start classes Monday.
Macy's general manager Brendan Halford said in the past, tax holidays have increased incremental sales for retailers, though most stores have their own sales in conjunction with the tax-free weekend.
In the 11 years of the program, the state estimates they have saved families nearly $442 million in expenses for students.
Levine's Department Store in Downtown Tyler said they're trying their best to keep uniforms in stock. Manager Ralph Mason said they are going an extra length and offering everything in the store tax-free.
Local stores like Levine's are boosting their numbers of employees to assist with customer inquiries and help locate specific items. Some stores even will remain open until all customers have checked everything off their list.
Though Office Depot’s store hours are not officially extended for tax-free weekend, shoppers will not be forced to leave if they still are scrounging through school supply deals, said the manager for Office Depot at in Tyler.
After closing, everything in Office Depot will be restocked for the next day.
Tax-free School Supplies
Binders, blackboard chalk, book bags, calculators, cellophane tape, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, folders, glue, highlighters, index cards, legal pads, lunchboxes, markers, notebooks, paper, pencil boxes, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, protractors, rulers, scissors, writing tablets.