Sales Tax Holiday Leaves Out School Supplies

It's billed as a break for back to school shopping. But most of the items your child needs in the classroom don't make the tax free list.

The annual Sales Tax Holiday starts Friday and runs through Midnight Sunday. Over the last five years, Texans have saved around $150 million in taxes. But, those savings aren't always on items you'd expect for back to school.

This weekend hundreds of items are tax free. Things like jeans, shirts, belts, and socks. It's a favorite for parents like McKinzie Brooks who are shoping for back to school. "You don't have to pay sales tax. It gives us all a break on getting everything kids need anyway."

Well, not everything. Crayons, paper, pencils, pens, notebooks, glue, and scisors are all not tax exempt.  That came as a shock to mother of three, Tammy Kozsuch. "This is what they need to go back to school with. They need these supplies."

Fishing vests, hunting vests, and camoflaged panchos are on the tax exempt list. But, a book bag is not. Why not? That's a good question. Politicians in Austin say they want these things to be tax free. We talked with local representatives Leo Berman and Chuck Hopson. Both legislators say they don't know why school supplies are not part of the tax free weekend. And both men promised to make it a priority when the legislature meets two years from now. But this weekend, markers won't be marked down.

If you would like to look at all of the items that will be tax exempt this weekend, just log onto our website,, and click on the "Know More on 7" icon.

Stephen Parr, reporting.