Three back-to-school tax-free weekends within reach for Texas Panhandle parents
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Thanks to geography, Texas Panhandle parents readying their kids for school later this month can choose from three different sales tax holidays.

New Mexico each year relaxes its gross receipts tax rate for an August weekend. Oklahoma also observes a tax-free period for back-to-school shopping.

This year, New Mexico's and Oklahoma's occur one weekend earlier than the Texas tax holiday.

Begins: 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 4
Ends: Midnight, Sunday, Aug. 6
Tax rate: Varies by community but ranges between 5.125% and 8.6875%
Summary: Generally, tax-free status covers clothing priced less than $100 per item, computers less than $1,000 per item, and computer hardware accessories less than $500 per item, according to the New Mexico state statutes. School supplies "for use in standard, general-education classrooms" must cost less than $30 per item to qualify for tax exemption, state laws show.

For more detailed information on what New Mexico considers taxable and non-taxable, check out this bulletin from the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.

Begins: 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 4
Ends: Midnight, Sunday Aug. 6
Tax rate: Varies by community but ranges between 4.5% and 10%
Summary: Oklahoma allows any clothing or footwear item priced less than $100 and is "designed to be worn on or about the human body" to qualify for sales tax exemption. However, clothing and footwear designed for athletic or protective use, and clothing accessories designed to be "carried on or about the human body" generally are not exempt, according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. 

Other restrictions and details, along with a list of categories generally covered during Oklahoma's sales tax relief period, is available from the state tax commission.

Begins: 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 11
Ends: Midnight, Sunday Aug. 13
Tax rate: Varies by community but ranges between 6.25% and 8.25%
Summary: Generally, Texas law exempts from state sales taxes clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced less than $100 per item during this period. The Texas sales tax exemption also includes qualified items bought online, ordered by telephone or mail, and placed on layaway during the tax-free period.

For other details and lists of elegible items, check the Texas Comptroller's Sales Tax Holiday page.



Mike Smith is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. Contact him at, on Twitter at @newsmithm and on Facebook.