MONIQUE BATSON — Let tax-free weekend lessen the burden caused by inflation

Published 12:05 am Friday, August 5, 2022

“What good is saving eight cents on a dollar if I have to fight the crowds?”

I’ve said it. You’ve probably said it. And I know I’ve heard it.

But if fuel prices of late have taught us anything, a reduction of eight cents can go a long way (or at least a little longer than it could).

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And not just fuel, but quite literally everything has increased in price. And preparing children for a new school year is never easy on the wallet. This year it’s going to be a straight punch to the gut.

While I’m trying not to be irritated by the last-minute shopping I’m about to do because my oldest is a senior and I won’t be doing this again for him, my youngest is a sophomore. Gone are the days of going to Walmart and buying the $4 shorts and $2 tops from the kids section.

My 6 feet, 3 inch senior insists on sweatpants, jeans and plain shirts in very particular colors. And let me also mention he wears a size 14 shoe, which makes finding socks more of a treasure hunt.

My sophomore picks up the first five t-shirts he sees because he’s going to be wearing a hoodie anyway (yet another thing I have to buy that almost no one needs in August) and no one can see what’s on it.

The other day I saw him in a tie-dyed SpongeBob shirt and I’m not even sure he knows he picked it out.

And since I hate shopping, I’ll push it off until the last minute every year.

Beginning today and ending at midnight Sunday, Texas is hosting the annual Sales Tax Holiday, which includes clothing, footwear, school supplies and other items.

But there’s an added benefit. Much like Black Friday, retailers know people will be shopping, and therefore they can get competitive with pricing. Most stores offer sales on items that fit the list of tax-free merchandise, allowing you to save well more than just eight cents per dollar.

And on top of that, the clothing isn’t limited to just students. Adults can take advantage of the weekend to buy or replace necessary items for themselves at a fraction of the usual cost.

According to the Texas Comptroller’s Office are just some items you can purchase tax-free for both children and adults:

  • Adult diapers
  • Baby bibs
  • Baby clothes, bibs
  • Baby diapers
  • Baseball caps and jerseys
  • Belts with attached buckles
  • Boots (general purpose and cowboy)
  • Bras
  • Chef uniforms
  • Coats
  • Coveralls
  • Dresses
  • Football jerseys
  • Golf shirts and caps
  • Graduation caps and gowns
  • Gym uniforms
  • Hunting vests
  • Neckwear
  • Nightgowns and pajamas
  • Raincoats and rain hats
  • Robes
  • Shirts
  • Shoes (general, tennis, and sandals)
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Swimsuits
  • Dress suits
  • Underwear
  • Work uniforms

And the most-used school supplies are also tax-free, if priced under $100.

For a full list of items and supplies, visit comptroller.texas.gov.

 

Monique Batson is Port Arthur Newsmedia editor. She can be reached at monique.batson@panews.com.