Rylander proposes sales tax holiday extension

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander announced her proposal to expand the Sales Tax Holiday from three days to five days and add to the list of tax-exempt items safety equipment, school supplies and materials used to make kiddos’ clothing. Comptroller Rylander’s proposal would save Texas taxpayers an additional $46 million from 2001 to 2003. “The Sales Tax Holiday is a tremendous help to hard-working Texas families,” Rylander said. “By expanding the holiday from three days to five and adding these items, the sales tax holiday will be less of a traffic jam and save Texans more of their hard-earned dollars for their families.” The items added to the tax-exempt list are buttons, zippers and fabric for mammas who make the clothes; school supplies, including backpacks; and safety equipment, including bicycle helmets, elbow and knee pads, and baby and children’s car seats. “I want to make the Sales Tax Holiday as beneficial to Texas families as possible,” Rylander said. “The tax burden on working families is too high and the sales tax holiday provides Texans with much-needed relief.” In 1999, the Legislature approved an annual sales tax holiday to fall on the first weekend in August each year, which coincides with back-to-school shopping. No state or local taxes are collected on tax-exempt items under $100. During the first two Sales Tax Holidays, taxpayers saved $32.6 million in 1999 and $37 million in 2000. Beginning last year, local taxing entities were able to opt out of the Sales Tax Holiday if they notified the Comptroller’s office by March 31. Only Sunset Valley, a small community southwest of Austin, chose not to waive its local sales taxes. For more information on the Sales Tax Holiday and a list of exempt and non exempt items, see the Comptroller’s web site at www.window.state.tx.us, or call the tax assistance hotline at (800) 252-5555.

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