Press Statement
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
August 11, 2008
Contact: Tina Tran, 713-236-0306

State Legislators Kick-Off the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday at Macy's

Houston (August 11, 2008) - Senator Rodney Ellis was joined by Representatives Rick Noriega, Ellen Cohen, Garnet Coleman at Macy's in downtown Houston to kick-off the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, which runs this weekend, August 15-17. The state legislators were also joined by students from the Quillian Center, the Recreation Ministry of First Methodist Houston.

This weekend marks the tenth annual sales tax holiday in Texas. At the press conference today, state officials called for an expansion of the tax-free holiday. Senator Ellis proposed that energy efficient and hurricane preparedness items to be added to the list of eligible products. Representative Cohen charged the legislature with making the tax-free holiday longer to accommodate businesses and busy parents.

"Texas has the 5th most regressive tax system in the nation and it is times like these that hit Texans the hardest economically. I will continue to fight for tax relief for hard-working Texas families," said Senator Ellis.

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 tax holiday is designed to give hard-working Texans a tax break on necessities such as back-to-school clothing. Shoes, clothing, backpacks and many other items less than $100 are exempt from the sales tax.

A complete list of the tax exempt items is attached and can also be found at the Texas State Comptroller's website:

http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxpubs/tx98_490/tx98_490.html

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