Local stores offer their own discounts during tax-free weekend


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Shoppers looking for back-to-school items are in luck — they won’t be charged sales tax on certain items less than $100 due to the tax-free weekend.

“We think Texas will save about $90.3 million this weekend,” Kevin Lyons, a spokesperson for the Texas Comptroller’s office, said.

At Academy Sports + Outdoors, in addition to the tax-free savings, customers are also able to save 25 percent on apparel, backpacks and shoes from Under Armour, Nike and shoes by Skechers.
“Right as we opened up, we had a line of customers outside the door,” David Murillo, manager of Academy Sports + Outdoors on Brodie Lane, said.

Stores with a physical presence in Texas won’t charge the sales tax they usually do for online sales either. Retailers without a significant physical presence in Texas currently do not collect sales tax on online purchases. Local stores, however, are trying to keep customers shopping at their stores this weekend.

“It is competitive,” Amanda Smith with Teacher Heaven in Austin said. “People go to Walmart and nobody can compete in retail with Walmart and Target’s prices. We just can’t.”

Smith says Teacher Heaven decided to apply an overall discount on all items in the store.

“What we do in lieu of that is we just offer an eight percent discount, because parents as well as teachers can come here, shop and enjoy the savings,” she said. “It’s just another way we can keep the playing field even and everyone, including the teachers, can get the perks.”

Teacher Heaven is trying to help customers like Sarah Johnson, who was shopping Friday before she had to return to her campus.

“[I’m buying] name tags for open house so I can get to know the kids better and know their names and then name plates for their tables so they know where to sit,” Johnson, a kindergarten teacher, said.

Lyons says it’s estimated Texans have saved about $1.2 billion in state and local sales tax since the tax holiday was implemented in 1999.

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