What are taxes good for? The answers vary depending upon who you ask.
But for retailers here in Austin, they're good for ad campaigns.
In addition to television ads by local furniture stores promoting "tax-free" sales of couches and chairs and whatever knickknacks you want or need for your home, a jeweler sent out a multi-page mailing last week with this message:
Texas does have a state sales tax holiday; I'll be writing more on it and the dozen or so others coming up later this summer. But I guess sales are a bit slow everywhere, so some businesses, based on their ads, are willing to cover the sales tax on all purchases themselves just to get more people into the stores
And that "gas credit" pitch is inspired. Based on local pump prices, that'll get you around seven gallons, more than enough to cover the drive to and from the store.