Sales Tax Exemption Weekend is Here

By George Slaughter

Katy area retailers expect to enjoy a bump in sales over the next few days thanks to the annual Texas sales tax exemption weekend.

The sales tax holiday begins Friday and runs through Sunday.

The sales tax holiday is typically scheduled before students return to school and applies to most footwear and clothing, as well as school supply items. The Texas Legislature sets the sales tax holiday dates

The sales tax exemption applies for eligible items sold for less than $100, with no limit to the number of qualifying items one can purchase.

As might be expected, school spirit items are among the most popular items for purchase as Katy students return to school Wednesday. Rachael Jackson, a sales associate at Brammer’s Athletic Warehouse, 5017 E. 5th St., said her store will hold a “sidewalk sale” from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday to mark the sales tax exemption weekend.

Brammer’s sells spirit items such as shirts—t-shirts, polo shirts, and sweatshirts—and hats for all the KISD high schools, along with hats for the junior high schools.

The district’s newest high school, Paetow, opened last year but fields its first varsity football team this season.

“We’ve had a lot of Paetow parents come through,” Jackson said. “We’ve been able to replentish a lot of our stock as far as Paetow goes.”

T-shirts range in price between $12-15, while polo shirts range between $20-30, Jackson said.

Not all the spirit clothing is for students, however. Jackson said that PTA shirts and team roster shirts are big sellers for parents as baseball season now rolls into football season.

“It’s one of our busiest times of the year,” Jackson said.

Not all items qualify for the sales tax exemption, however. Items such as computers, software, and textbooks do not apply. Accessory items such as briefcases, handbags, jewelry, luggage, purses, umbrellas, wallets, watches, and other accessory items also do not qualify.

Jackson said that school spirit items such as flags, mini-helmets, and stadium seats do not qualify for an exemption.

Athletic gear worn only during actual competition—such as football pads or golf cleats—do not qualify for and exemption, according to the comptroller’s office. However, other clothing items that can be worn outside the athletic arena, such as baseball caps and tennis shoes, do qualify for an exemption.

In some cases, school supplies have been or will be provided to students. Compassion Katy recently held a backpack and school supply distribution as part of its Operation Back 2 School program. The program targeted eight of the more economically-damaged Katy Independent School District elementary schools this year, an increase from last year when only one elementary school was targeted.

Compassion Katy officials said next year’s goal was to collect enough backpacks and supplies for students at all 17 Title I elementary schools in the district.

For a complete list of qualifying and nonqualifying items, visit the comptroller’s web site.