Tax-Free Weekend and Back-to-School Resources

10 Aug, 23

In the next few weeks, more than 1 million students in the Houston region will return to school. But filling their backpacks will be a little more challenging this year: inflation has cranked up the cost of school supplies by 24 percent.

Thankfully, parents, caregivers, and teachers have relief on the horizon with the sales tax holiday from Friday, August 11, to Sunday, August 13. During this time, you can shop tax-free for most clothing, footwear, school supplies, and backpacks (sold for less than $100).

School supply lists have changed a lot since I authored this legislation in 1999, at a time when $100 could go a long way. Although the recent special legislative session included plenty of debate about property tax relief, little was said about sales tax relief – the type of legislation that would help those who need it most.

In Harris County, we will continue to prioritize working families through coordinated investments in jobs, housing, basic needs, and access to high-quality childcare. I encourage parents, caregivers, and teachers to tap into school supply drives and other resources to prepare for the new year. They include:

  • The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP): provides a benefit of up to $30 a month for internet service and a discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider. Families who participate in the Free and Reduced Price School Lunch Program, SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline are eligible. To enroll, go to to submit an application. Then, contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan and request to apply the discount to your bill.
  • Upcoming free events open to the public in Precinct One:
  • For immunizations, call the Harris Health immunization hotline at 713-873-TOTS (8687) for information on mobile unit locations.

  • Now more than ever, everyday Texans need tax relief – and a swift way to address that is for state lawmakers to expand and modernize the sales tax holiday. Other states have already done so to keep pace with the growing needs of educators and families with school-age children. With a historic budget surplus, the state can afford it.

    As your Commissioner, I will continue to fight for more economic policies that benefit working- and middle-class families. We can’t afford not to.


    Rodney Ellis