Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
August 19, 2009
Contact: Tina Tran, (512) 463-0113

Ellis and Comptroller Combs Kick-Off the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday

(Houston, Texas) — Senator Rodney Ellis was joined by Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs at Macy's in downtown Houston to kick-off the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, which runs this weekend, August 21-23. The state officials were also joined by students from the Young Scholars Academy for Excellence.

"The tax holiday means real tax relief for hardworking Texas families who need to see their dollars go farther to provide the necessities for their students," said Senator Ellis. "I will continue to fight for expansion of the list of tax exempt items to help Texans in these hard economic times."

This weekend marks the eleventh annual sales tax holiday in Texas. This past legislative session, Senator Ellis co-sponsored a bill that expanded the list of tax exempt item to include most school supplies priced at less than $100 purchased for use by a student in an elementary or secondary school.

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.

"The economy has changed many families’ spending habits as they try to balance tighter budgets with their children's back-to-school needs, but this tax holiday will give shoppers a break,” Combs said. “Texans are trying to get the most for their money when buying clothes, backpacks and school supplies, so we’re happy to provide a tax-free incentive. We estimate families will save about $65.7 million total in state and local sales taxes during this holiday.”

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