With summer in full swing and Texans taking family vacations, back-to-school shopping may be far from our thoughts—but it is not far off.
10 Principles for Texas
in the 21st Century
Develop a better-educated workforce
Direct more of every education dollar into the classroom
Raise the bar on student performance
Cut taxes in Texas
Introduce competition into Texas government
Improve government performance and accountability
Reduce the size of government
Bring common sense to regulations
Use technology to cut costs and increase quality
Return control to communities and individuals
Next month will mark Texas’ third Sales Tax Holiday. It is on the first weekend in August, to coincide with back-to-school shopping.
The Sales Tax Holiday is a tremendous help to hard-working Texas families. The tax burden on working families is too high and the Sales Tax Holiday provides Texans with much-needed relief.
As Comptroller I will continue to push for extending the Sales Tax Holiday from three days to five days, so we don’t have a three-day traffic jam around our malls and shopping centers, and adding more items to the tax-exempt list: backpacks and school supplies; buttons, zippers and fabric for mammas who make the clothes; safety equipment for our most precious resource—our children, including bicycle helmets and elbow and knee pads; and baby car seats.
The Legislature wisely approved the Sales Tax Holiday in 1999. That same wisdom should have been used to expand it this session. During the first two Sales Tax Holidays, Texans purchased more than $867 million in tax-exempt items—saving more than $69 million in state and local taxes.
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 tax the first year. This year I am pleased to report that no local taxing entities—not one—opted out of the Sales Tax Holiday.
With local governments and state government teaming up to provide Texas families with this much-deserved tax-free shopping spree, all Texans will save their hard-earned dollars on the first weekend in August. This is one time when Texans can keep their dollars in their pocketbook for their families’ priorities.
Cutting taxes is one of my 10 principles for Texas in the 21st Century. And cutting taxes, even for a short period of time, is a sure-fire way to generate economic growth.
CAROLE KEETON RYLANDER