Area shopping centers were buzzing with activity as large waves of shoppers poured into stores to get in on the tax free sales taking place this weekend.
The state comptroller’s office said last week Texans are expected to save $90.3 million during this year’s back-to-school tax-free weekend, which continues through Sunday. Brianna Mundine was out shopping for her three children, who ranged in age from 1 to 11. Mundine said her family was planning on making a day of their shopping excursion, something she said was common among other shoppers she had encountered.
“I worked in retail so I know sometimes the savings aren’t obvious but there are some good sales,” Mundine said.
The family was happily wading through the scores of shoppers looking to get the best deals. Mundine said they had already visited three stores and had two or three more to get to as she was on a mission to get her children the right shoes.
“Shoes are important, especially for my sixth grader — they like them high end shoes, the very expensive ones,” she said.
Some stores had long lines while others posted signs advertising special hours to accommodate all of the tax-free shoppers. Only eligible school supplies and clothing priced under $100 each were included in the tax-free sale.
The tax-free weekend is an incentive the state legislature put in place in 1999 to provide relief to parents during the busy school shopping season. Officially known as a tax-holiday, the weekend takes place typically the last weekend before school starts up for many schools across the state and continues through Sunday this year.
“As Texas families begin the process of replacing their beach bags with book bags, Texas’ sales tax holiday is the perfect opportunity to save some money on the supplies families need before the school bell rings,” Comptroller Glenn Hegar said in a written statement. “As a dad to three young children, I know how these expenses can add up.”
The National Retail Federation recently estimated back-to-school spending would reach $82.8 billion this year. The average family with children in elementary through high school will spend more than $684 on back-to-school good this year, while families of college students were estimated to spend an average of $942.17.
Several retailers put up marketing materials ahead of the weekend to prepare for the influx of shoppers. There were some stores with products that weren’t covered by the tax break and many had signs on their doors indicating such.
Earlier in the week, Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said the city was encouraged by the potential tens-of-thousands of people who he believed would travel to Sherman this weekend to take advantage of the tax holiday.
“It’s one of the benefits of having a retail-focused economy,” Strauch said. “Those who come to Sherman to shop are still having a positive impact on our local economy.”
A full list of the tax exempt can be found at https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/publications/98-490/.