Tax-free textbooks bill benefits students

Complaints in college range from sports to politics to food to the price of textbooks. Luckily, the last of these rants is in the process of being remedied. If Senate Bill 49 is passed in Texas Congress, a new deal will be cut, making textbooks tax-free at the beginning of each semester.This is one of those win-win situations that will put Texas in the running for a solid education reform and save money for students who may be financially burdened by the growing price of textbooks. The bill originated at University of Texas at Austin by its student government, and, so far, it has gained approval from politicians and students alike.

Texas is not the first state to instigate such an endeavor for tax-exempt books for college students, but it is joining a bandwagon that 15 other states have put into effect.

“Studies have shown that students in states with tax-free textbooks exhibit higher academic performance than others,” according to the original draft of the tax-free bill submitted by the UT student government.

Drawbacks to this piece of legislation include course-swapping for students only after the 10-day tax-free period ends during the semester.

The program can be likened to the tax-free weekend offered by shopping centers before school starts in the fall. The chance to improve one’s wardrobe may not be synonymous with higher education, but the money saved by students can go toward tuition payments, rent or just free spending.

The bill is an opportunity to further education by saving money for college students pressed to make payment deadlines and dues. Studies conducted by UT showed that students spend roughly $900 a year on textbooks. With the current 8.25 percent state sales tax, the exemption will save nearly $75 for students.

Sports editor Marcus Murphree for the editorial board.