Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
August 17, 2010
Contact: Tina Tran, 512-463-0113

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

(Austin, Texas) — Senator Rodney Ellis was joined by Representative Mark Strama at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol to kick-off the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, which runs this weekend, August 20-22.

"The tax holiday means real tax relief for hardworking Texas families who need to see their dollars go farther in order to provide the necessities for their children," 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."

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.

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

"During this economic downturn, families are tightening their budgets yet still want to meet their children's back-to-school needs," said Rep. Strama. "This sales tax holiday offers Texas shoppers the opportunity to purchase such items as school supplies, backpacks, and clothing without breaking the bank."

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs predicts shoppers will save $59.3 million in state and local sales taxes during the Sales Tax Holiday, which takes place each year on the third Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August. A complete list of the tax exempt items is attached and can also be found at the Texas State Comptroller's website: