Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
August 16, 2007
Contact: Margaret Justus
713-236-0306

Ellis, author of tax- free holiday law, reminds Texas families to shop and save this weekend
Senator calls for a broader sales tax holiday to help Texans save more

(HOUSTON) -- Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis joined other area legislators at a news conference today at Academy Sports and Outdoors to call for an expansion of the Texas Sales Tax Holiday and remind Texas families to shop tax-free August 17-19.

"I will do everything possible to give working families even more tax relief. I plan to file legislation to expand the holiday to two weeks in August, include more back-to-school items, energy efficient products, computers and hurricane supplies, and raise the maximum cost on some items to $2500. Texas has one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation and an expanded sales tax holiday would mean real relief for many deserving Texans."

In 1999, Senator Ellis passed Senate Bill 441, a $506 million tax relief package which created the 3-day sales tax holiday, eliminated the sales tax on over-the-counter medicines, and cut business taxes. The sales tax holiday is designed to give hard-working Texans a tax break on back-to-school necessities. Items such as clothing, shoes, and backpacks priced under $100 are tax-exempt.

Senator Ellis authored and helped to pass legislation this session to include backpacks among the tax-free items and to move the sales tax holiday to the third weekend in August in order to move it closer to the school start date and allow more families to take advantage of the holiday.

This weekend marks the ninth annual Sales Tax Holiday in Texas, which the state Comptroller has estimated will save Texans $49 million this year and a total of $336 million dollars over eight years.

"I want to thank Academy Sports and Outdoors for getting the word out about the Sales Tax Holiday which begins tomorrow at midnight and lasts through Sunday," said Senator Ellis. "I am proud to have passed the tax holiday bill in 1999 that is designed to give working Texas families a much needed break this time of year," Senator Ellis said.

The Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 17, and ends at midnight on Sunday, August 19.

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SALES TAX HOLIDAY
AUGUST 17-19, 2007

Legislation passed by Senator Ellis designates August 17 (beginning at midnight) through August 19 as Texas' 9th annual Sales Tax Holiday. Clothing, shoes, and for the first time backpacks, up to $100 per item will be tax-free. That will save Texans $8 on every $100 they spend.

Selected list of items and their exemption status on the sales tax holiday.

TAX FREE

Baby Clothes
Backpacks
Bathing Suits
Belts with attached buckles
Boots-cowboy, hiking
Bras
Bridal apparel (not rentals)
Caps/hats - baseball, fishing, golf, knitted
Choir robes
Coats and wraps
Costumes
Diapers - adult and baby
Dresses
Formal clothing
Gloves (generally)
Gym suits and uniforms
Hooded shirts and hooded sweatshirts
Hosiery
Jackets
Jeans
Jerseys - baseball and football
Jogging apparel, such as bras, suits and shorts
Lingerie
Neckwear and ties
Pajamas
Pants and trousers
Raincoats and ponchos
Robes
Shirts
Shoes - sandals, slippers, sneakers, tennis, walking
Socks (including athletic)
Shorts
Suits, slacks and jackets
Sweatshirts
Sweat suits
Sweaters
Swim suits and trunks
Tuxedos (not rental)
Underclothes
Work clothes and uniforms

STILL TAXED

Accessories (generally) - barrettes, plastic pony tail holders, wallets, watches
Baseball cleats and pants
Belt buckles (without belt)
Boots - climbing, fishing, rubber work boots, ski, waders
Buttons and zippers
Cloth and lace, knitting yarns and other fabrics
Dry cleaning services
Football pants
Golf gloves
Handbags and purses
Handkerchiefs
Hard hats
Helmets - bike, baseball, football, hockey, motorcycle, sports
Ice skates
Jewelry
Laundering services
Leather goods - except belts and wearing apparel
Pads - football, hockey, soccer, elbow, knee, shoulder
Personal flotation devices
Rented clothing (including uniforms, formal wear, and costumes)
Roller blades and skates
Safety clothing, glasses
Shoes - bicycle (cleated), bowling, golf.

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