According to the National Retail Federation, this year, families are expected to spend an average of $696.70 – up from $684.79 in 2018 – in back-to-school shopping, but Texans taking advantage of the Aug. 9-11 tax-free shopping weekend will see a bit of relief.
Each year, the state of Texas waives the 6.25-percent state tax and other local taxes for purchase of certain back-to-school items, in general clothing, footwear and backpacks less than $100 per item, and school supplies less than $100 per item. Purchases may be made in person or from an online or catalogue seller doing business pithing the state, according to www.comptroller.texas.gov.
“In most cases, you do not need to give the seller an exemption certificate to buy qualifying items tax free,” the site notes, adding that however, “Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges by the seller are part of the item’s sales price.
“For example, you buy a pair of jeans for $95 with a $10 delivery charge for a total price of $105. Because the jeans’ total price is not less than $100, tax is due on the entire $105 price,” according to the site.
In Jacksonville, Stage Stores is preparing for what traditionally has been one of the company's biggest sales events.
“We're expecting to see a crowd, between the back-to-school sales and tax-free weekend. It's going to be pretty busy, and we'll have a big sale” on items such as back-packs, clothing and shoes, according to a store employee.
Business hours at the 1712 S. Jackson St. department store are from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday as part of the tax-free weekend promotion.
Across town, Flint Gypsies co-owner Kathy Watkins said both the Jacksonville store – located at 115 E. Commerce St. – and on U.S. Highway 69 in Bullard are “looking forward” to business this coming week.
“We're excited, and we're looking forward to it,” she said. “We've got back-to-school specials and tax-free weekend specials, along with lots of sale items. We're also registering for give-aways, as well as offering give-aways with every purchase.”
Flint Gypsies stocks clothing for women and teens, and also carries some pre-teen fashions. Hours are from 10 am. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday in Bullard, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Jacksonville.
A projected total combined spending for back-to-school and back-to-college shopping is estimated at $80.7 billion, according to www.NRF.com.