South Carolina's tax-free weekend shopping bonanza begins at mid - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

South Carolina's tax-free weekend shopping bonanza begins at midnight

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The third busiest shopping weekend of the year is only hours away. Tax-free weekend usually saves South Carolinians $3 million by sparing them the cost of a 6 percent statewide sales tax.

The Palmetto State also has a lenient list of items that are exempted from state and local tax.

Generally the rule of thumb when it comes to shopping this weekend includes anything that is considered a back-to-school item: clothing, school supplies and computers are all included. There are several other items that don't fit into those categories, but apply.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue has a list of all those items on its web site along with the items that are not considered tax-free.

Jenny Martin, local author of SouthernSavers.com, says you should go for the items that are pricier.

"A laptop, tablet, calculators, the reason is they're larger purchases, you know, saving the sales tax on a 25 cent pack of crayons, not really worth it," says Martin. "The stores are going to be a little crazy, so if I want to head in and get the most bang for my buck and the most for my time it's sticking with the larger purchases."

Martin also suggests taking advantage of the clothing deals as well.

"You know in South Carolina we have a lot more summer left, so we don't have to go straight to the fall items that are full priced. Let's go ahead and start our school wardrobe with some shorts and some T-shirts," says Martin.

She also suggests going to consignment stores. 

Martin says this year we may see visitors from out of state who no longer have a tax-free weekend.

"North Carolina has canceled their tax free weekend, which should have been this weekend but they canceled July 1. Sales tax-free weekend is very hard for small businesses, they have to sit there and reprogram their computers and they have to make sure they are doing all this right," says Martin.

Martin says that there has been a discussion to end tax-free weekend in South Carolina for that reason, however since North Carolina has canceled its tax-free weekend, small businesses in South Carolina could feel more of an economic impact than in previous years.

Tax-free weekend begins Friday at midnight and will go through midnight Sunday.

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