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Weekend Ticket: Tax free weekend to begin Friday

Sales tax holiday saves $8 on every $100 spent

Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to blow the family budget.

While teachers around the state are preparing their classrooms for the first day of school, parents are checking their children’s closets and craft buckets to take inventory at home before hitting the stores for back-to-school deals.

Weekend TicketThis Friday through Sunday, local retailers and chain stores throughout the state will band together to offer one of the biggest sales events of the year — tax free weekend, Texas’ annual sales tax holiday on clothing, shoes and school supplies under $100.

“It’s a great time for shoppers to come out and save their sales tax dollars,” Jodie Galloway, Central Mall specialty leasing and marketing manager said Thursday. “All but a small few of our stores carry back-to-school items, and I know they’re getting ready for the big shopping event of the summer.”

Galloway said Central Mall, located at 3100 FM 365 in Port Arthur, will have extended hours for the special holiday weekend: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Tax Free Weekend, an annual event since 1999, allows Texas shoppers to save about $8 on every $100 spent during the three-day event.

Most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced below $100 are eligible for the tax reprieve — provided they are considered general purpose items. Single-purpose items, like athletic cleats, hard hats and rubber boots, and most accessories are not eligible.

“This year, shoppers will save an estimated $87 million in state and local sales taxes during the sales tax holiday,” a press release from Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s office states.

The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants provided a statement with tips to help save even more money this weekend and better prepare for back-to-school shopping:

• Do a closet inventory before counting out last season’s wardrobe.

• Set a spending plan and keep it by making a shopping list before hitting the racks.

• Take advantage of Texas’ tax free weekend, but don’t let a “good deal” turn into an “excuse to overspend.”

• Look for deals year-round to help maintain the family budget.

• Involve children in back-to-school shopping to teach life-long financial literary and money management lessons.

• Consider events in the months to come — like birthdays, holidays and winter months — that you can buy outfits for during tax free weekend and save for later.

For a full list of apparel and school supplies that may be purchased tax fee, visit the comptroller’s website at www.TexasTaxHoliday.org.

Twitter: @crhenderson90