Perry encourages Texans to take advantage of tax holiday

FORT WORTH -- Standing in front of boxes of Eureka Vacuums and bright blue and red storage bins, Gov. Rick Perry and Comptroller Susan Combs encouraged Texans to take advantage of the statewide sales tax holiday this weekend.

They appeared at the Walmart Supercenter on North Beach Street near Keller on Friday afternoon and spoke to a small crowd of customers and employees.

"I know there's lots of clothes, lots of shoes, lots of supplies that need to be bought this weekend so these young people can hit the ground running and get into school," Perry said.

Combs' office estimates that Texans will avoid paying $59.3 million in sales taxes this weekend, compared with $65.7 million last year.

Combs said the tax-free weekend will be good for consumers' pockets and the state's economy.

"We think it's good for the economy because when you come in here, I bet you buy something else that you hadn't counted on buying, and that's going to be terrific," Combs said.

Perry dismissed criticism that the sales tax holiday is too late this year, as many families needed to do their back-to-school shopping earlier.

"Being in the public eye, we're used to criticism," Perry said. "I'm pretty sure if we had done it three weeks ago, somebody would have criticized we did it too early."

This is the 12th straight year of the sales tax holiday, which runs until midnight Sunday.

Eligible items cost less than $100 and include school supplies, clothing, shoes and backpacks.

"Of course, we're in Texas, so boots are on the list," Combs said.

Aman Batheja, 817-390-7695