SC parents take advantage of tax-free weekend for back-to-school
AIKEN, S.C. (WFXG) - With inflation continuing to climb and students heading back to school, some South Carolinians are planning to save a little cash this weekend.
There are just a few days left before Aiken County students return to the classroom, and the South Carolina Department of Revenue is helping out by suspending the six percent state sales tax on qualifying items. School supplies, clothing, and even pricier items like computers and musical instruments are exempt from sales tax in the Palmetto State through August 7th.
Parent Christina Cowett says, during this time of higher prices, not having to pay sales tax makes things a little easier. “It helps offset the inflation. I think we’ll see it when we go checkout, we’ll say ‘Look how much money we saved!’”
Maggie Jones and Ashley Ewald are sales associates at a local children’s boutique. They hope the additional savings will bring more shoppers through their doors. Supporting small businesses sometimes comes with a higher price tag, Ewald says, but with the opportunity to see some savings anyway, like with a break on sales tax, shopping locally is a way to support the community.
“Downtown and small businesses of Aiken are so important and this is what makes Aiken so unique and fun," says Jones. "It’s a little bit more money sometimes but I think you get what you pay for and we want to have these places around for a long time.”
Jones adds that the quality of items available at the boutique surpasses what shoppers will normally find at bigger retailers. Shopping during the tax holiday, she hopes, will allow more families to spring for those items. "It takes a lot to keep a business open," she says, "so you're also helping pay for that."
If you’re looking for something special for the first day of school, you’re likely to find it in one of Aiken’s small shops, such as Pitter Patter Children's Boutique.
“Anything from polos to new dresses, shoes. And we have back-to-school bows that might have little designs on them, and a bunch of school-themed outfits. And we offer embroidery for the schools’ monograms. I feel like we try to make back-to-school fun for the kids. We try to have the fun things.”
The Department of Revenue reports that since the first tax-free weekend in 2000, shoppers have saved between two and three million dollars.
This year's event ends Sunday night.
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