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SC tax-free holiday draws crowds but doesn't leave Ga. empty-handed

Friday kicked off the tax-free holiday in South Carolina. Businesses were expecting big crowds since Georgia no longer participates in this weekend.

Shoppers have already started their search for deals during South Carolina's tax-free weekend, which kicked off Friday. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 5, 2011)

News 12 First at Five / Aug. 5, 2011

AIKEN -- With school supply lists in hand, moms, dads and kids packed the Staples in Aiken to take advantage of the first day of the tax-free holiday.

Virginia Smith is shopping for her two kids and is trying to get the best deals.

"If you go later in the weekend, they are out of supplies, notebook paper, notebooks, they run out of things so we decided to hit it early this year," Smith said.

As Smith is saving money, business are making it.

Brian Prinz, manager of the Staples in Aiken, has seen the crowds already.

"It is definitely busier than years past when Georgia used to do their tax-free event," he said. "We are definitely picking up that crowd too."

When you cross the state line, you might expect things to be quieter this weekend, but that's not necessarily the case during back-to-school season.

There were still lots of cars in the parking lot of an Augusta Staples, and still lots of people in the aisles -- just not as many.

The manager of the Augusta Staples, Brad Duncan, understands why.

"It is certainly a much busier weekend with tax free especially in the technology side of the store, when you think about the savings you get with tax on a laptop, printer or any technology items, it is pretty substantial," Duncan said.

Hank Thompson had the same idea but with a twist. He is out shopping for a laptop for his daughter going off to college.

"We know that South Carolina has a sales tax-free weekend, so we shop around over and pick out we want to see and if it is an expensive item like a laptop and we'll drive over to North Augusta and pick it up without the sales tax," Thompson said.

All the money shoppers save when it comes to sales tax is money the state isn't getting.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue is predicting shoppers will save $3 million this year.

That's slightly more than last year and that's why Georgia lawmakers didn't vote for one. They say the state simply can't afford it.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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