Shoppers, Stores Gear Up for Tax Holidays - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/22/05

Shoppers, Stores Gear Up for Tax Holidays

It may be July, but we're only days away from one of the busiest shopping times of the year. Georgia's tax-free shopping weekend starts next Thursday, July 28, at midnight and runs through Sunday, July 31. The tax holiday lifts Georgia's six percent sales tax off clothing, computers and other back-to-school items.

Shoppers and retailers alike are getting ready to cash in on the savings at Oglethorpe Mall.

Some shoppers, like Taylor McFarland and her grandmother Patsy Scarborough of Bryan County, are getting a head start on sales now.

"It's not as crowded as it's going to be," noted Scarborough. "She starts back to school August fifth, and we wanted to get a jump on the rush."

Other shoppers are scoping out sales for next week.

"It's a great savings, the taxes you save," said Leviticus Lewis. "It's a great savings."

"I see uniforms and stuff like that, that could be good for school," said Lewis' granddaughter Tarika Varner.

For many stores, the challenge will be finding enough employees to meet up with customer demand. "There's just not enough hours in the day to handle that kind of business," said Rack Room Shoes manager Ken Hughes.

But they'll get the job done. "Business was terrific last year," said Hughes. "We saw terrific increases and I expect to see the same this year."

So stores are stocking up, and not just on clothes. Best Buy has upped its inventory of computers, modems and printers. Last tax-free weekend, the store sold more than 2,000 desktop and laptop computers, and they know next week could easily rival that.

"It might as well be Thanksgiving, because tax-free weekend is just that crazy," said Tom Nall of Best Buy computer sales.

South Carolina's tax-free weekend begins Friday, August 5 and runs through August 7.

More information, including lists of eligible items are available online.

Georgia:
http://www.etax.dor.ga.gov/salestaxholiday/index.shtml

South Carolina:
http://www.sctax.org/Tax+Policy/Policy/Sales+Tax+Holiday+Information.htm

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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