Tax-Free Holiday

Shoppers across the state will converge on retail outlets this tax-free weekend, getting ready to send their students back-to-school.

In San Angelo, class begins August 25th leaving only a few more weekend opportunities to cross those pencils and papers, and jeans and back-packs off your lists.

Mother of two students and Kindergarten Teacher, Valarie Tanner, says back-to-school shopping is an expensive time of year.

"This is where we spend the most money is this month," Tanner said.

This year, Tanner is shopping for her two boys who will be starting Pre-K and fourth grade in a few weeks. Per child, she spend nearly $80 on school supplies alone; that's not counting the additional expense to prepare her classroom for the upcoming school year.

"I bet $150 to $300 [is what] I spend just on my classroom stuff," Tanner said.

This is Tanner's 15th year teaching, she says, teachers try to create cost effective school supplies lists for parents.

"Each year we go through a list and we see 'Did we use that? Do we need it?' Some stuff we take off. Some we add more of like glue sticks; we find we use more of that than the bottles of glue," Tanner said.

Tanner is choosing to knock out the back-to-school shopping early, steering clear of the tax-free holiday weekend crowd.

JCPenney Store Leader, Tod Herring, says almost a quarter of the month's sales are made during this three-day holiday.

"This is one of the top three weekends of the entire year for retailers," Herring said.

Herring says, over a dozen additional staff members were hired, this month, for the back-to-school rush.

"Folks all have the big bags with the wheels on the bottom of them. It's not pick-up three or four pairs of jeans, this is one time where Mom comes in and she's wanting to take care of school clothes from now until spring time," Herring said.

On top of school supplies and clothes, let's not forget extra-curricular expenses. Sports pads, helmets and cleats are just a few of the many items still taxable this weekend.

"All the athletic stuff too, cost a lot of money. It's pretty expensive," Tanner said.

A number of stores are offering extended hours, this weekend, for the tax-free holiday.

Sunset Mall will be open Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday, the mall will be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Specific store hours may vary.

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