TEXAS (KXAN) — The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts will host the state’s annual sales tax holiday Aug. 11-13 in an effort to encourage supporting Texas-based businesses. During that time, customers can make tax-free purchases on many clothing items, footwear, school supplies and backpacks.

With the 2023-24 school year just around the corner, here’s a look at which school supplies items made the sales tax-free cut. Only the items listed that are priced under $100 qualify for the sales tax exemption, per the Texas Comptroller.

  • Binders
  • Blackboard chalk
  • Book bags
  • Calculators
  • Cellophane tape
  • Compasses
  • Composition books
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Folders: expandable, pocket, plastic and manila types
  • Glue, paste, paste sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Index card boxes
  • Legal pads
  • Lunch boxes
  • Markers (including dry erase markers)
  • Notebooks
  • Paper: loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board, construction paper
  • Pencil boxes, other school supply boxes
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Protractors
  • Rulers
  • Scissors
  • Writing tablets
  • Kits*

With kits, the Texas Comptroller said “the taxability depends on the value of exempt or taxable items in it.” There is no restriction on the amount of school supplies included in the kit; however, if the value of the tax-exempt items is higher than the value of the taxable items, the kit is exempt. If the value of the taxable items is higher than the exempt ones, then the kit is taxable.

Student backpacks are also included in the sales tax holiday, so long as they cost less than $100. The exemption to sales-tax-free backpacks are those with wheels and messenger bags.

Per the Texas Comptroller: “You can buy up to 10 backpacks tax free at one time without giving an exemption certificate to the seller.”

The following baggage-related items don’t qualify for sales tax exemptions:

  • Framed backpacks
  • Luggage
  • Briefcases
  • Athletic, duffle, gym bags
  • Computer bags
  • Purses

Here are more details on Texas’ sales tax holiday.