AUSTIN - With the rising cost of gasoline, groceries and other goods, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says the annual clothing sales tax holiday will help families' back-to-school budgets go farther.

The 10th annual sales tax holiday will take place Aug. 15 through 17. During the tax holiday weekend, most clothing and shoes priced less than $100 can be purchased tax free. The tax break applies to both children's and adults' apparel.

"We estimate shoppers will save about $54 million in sales tax during the sales tax holiday, including approximately $42.1 million in state sales tax and $11.9 million in local sales taxes," Combs said.

The shoppers' gain is not expected to have a significant impact on sales tax collections.

"Though the national economy has slowed, Texas sales tax revenue continues to grow at a healthy pace," Combs said. "Through June, state sales tax collections for fiscal 2008 were up 6.1 percent compared to the same point in fiscal 2007. Cities' and counties' calendar year-to-date sales tax revenues were up an average of 5.1 percent."

A list of items that will be tax exempt during the sales tax holiday is available on the comptroller's Web site at

Combs reminds families that school backpacks and messenger bags costing less than $100 are now included in the sales tax holiday, but school supplies are taxable.

Since 1999, the clothing sales tax holiday has saved shoppers more than $388 million in state and local sales taxes.