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Tax free holiday kicks off Friday
by Scott Reese Willey
Aug 20, 2009 | 1077 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Connie Linebarger of Skidmore looks through a rack of girls clothing on Tuesday at Kids Kottage in Beeville. Store owner Debra Dorle said she's ready for shoppers who want to pick up some back to school clothing, shoes and accessories during the state's tax free holiday this weekend.
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It’s just after lunch on Tuesday and Leticia Perez, owner of Bella’s Cottage, is talking to two friends in the specialty boutique store.

She wants to know if they know of anyone who can cook up hotdogs this weekend.

Perez wants to offer the treats to shoppers who visit her store this weekend to take advantage of the state’s annual tax free holiday.

“We had a tremendous tax free holiday last year,” she said. “It was a big success and we hope to have another big turnout this year.”

To that end, Bella’s is offering 20 percent to 30 percent off on all merchandize storewide and giving door prizes all day Friday and Saturday.

Oh, yeah, and shoppers might get a free hotdog meal if Perez can find a cook.

The tax free holiday begins Friday and ends Sunday.

As in previous years, the law exempts most clothing and footwear priced under $100 from sales and use taxes, which could save shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs explained.

Read what is tax free and what isn't here.

Backpacks under $100 and used by elementary and secondary students are also exempt. The exemption during the sales tax holiday includes backpacks with wheels, provided they can also be worn on the back like a traditional backpack, and messenger bags.

The exemption does not include items that are reasonably defined as luggage, briefcases, athletic/duffel/gym bags, computer bags, purses or framed backpacks.

Perez said her boutique, located at 109 S. Kathleen St., is stocked up on clothing, bags and shoes eligible to be purchased tax free this weekend.

Shoppers will find stacks of Yellow Box Shoes priced between $20 and $30, Betsey Johnson tote bags for as little as $40, and T-shirts for as little as $8.

“We have T-shirts and shoes in all the schools colors: Skidmore-Tynan, Beeville, Pettus,” she said. “We also have jeans and handbags and lots of other back-to-school clothing and accessories.”

Much of the clothing and accessories are custom made or purchased from fashion designers in New York or Los Angeles, she said.

“What a lot of our regular customers like about Bella’s is that we cater to their needs,” she said. “We get the latest fashions from New York and Los Angeles and bring them to Beeville.”

Debra Dorle, owner of Kids Kottage at 101 S. St. Mary’s St., also hopes to cash in on the tax free holiday this weekend.

“We’re ready to go,” she said. “It’s our first tax free holiday and we hope to have a large crowd. We have everything from clothes to shoes to backpacks. I’m just hoping people choose to shop locally and not go out of town.”

Dorle said she also has plans to help attract shoppers this weekend: sidewalk sale.

“For $5 shoppers can stuff as much clothing in the bag as they can,” she said. “We’ll give them the bag and for $5 they can fill it up.”

Walgreens, H-E-B Food Store, Bealls and Wal-Mart Supercenter are also gearing up for the tax free holiday.

House Bill 1801, passed earlier this year, added school supplies to the list of back-to-school items qualifying for the tax-free exemption. Texas families get the sales tax break on most school supplies priced at less than $100 and purchased for use by an elementary or secondary school student.

“I encourage families to plan their back-to-school shopping so that they can take advantage of the tax-free weekend,” said state Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles, whose House district includes Bee County. “With many families facing tighter budgets, the tax-free purchases are a perfect way for them to save some of their hard-earned money on these necessary expenses.”

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