Georgians cross river for SC's tax-free weekend

News 12 First at Five / Friday, Aug. 3, 2012

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- "It stretches your dollar just a little bit further. More than you'd be able to get other weekends," said South Carolina shopper Deanna Pearson.

Pearson is a mother of five, and when the school year rolls around, it means buying a lot of school supplies.

"It does get expensive, but we're frugal shoppers, so we shop the sales and try to save as much as we can by finding good deals," Pearson said.

This weekend, a deal is easy to find. It's South Carolina's tax-free weekend. Until midnight on Sunday, shoppers will not have to pay the usual 6 percent sales tax on items such as clothing, school supplies and bookbags.

Kmart Manager Elizabeth Raiford realizes that, "a lot of people don't have a lot of money, and a lot of people have a lot of children, so they come to save whatever they can."

"Sales tax on a purchase can be five, 10 dollars and that's a big chunk of change, especially this time of year," Pearson said.

But it's not just South Carolinians -- many Georgians are crossing the border to get in on the sales, too.

"Georgia's gonna wait until after school starts to have their back-to-school tax-free weekend, while South Carolina decided to do it a little bit earlier so those who are shopping want to save money, so they'll come in cross the river to save that money," Raiford said.

No matter where you're coming from, you'll probably have to brave a crowd. This is the third-busiest shopping weekend of the year, but if you don't mind standing in line, it might be worth your while.

In total, South Carolina shoppers could save about $3 million through the weekend.

As Pearson knows, every dollar counts.

"It's very important, especially because they grow when you're not expecting. Sometimes when school starts, you have expenses you didn't anticipate," she said.

Kmart's store hours will remain the same throughout the weekend, but they do have more staff ready to handle the big crowds at the register.

Georgia's tax-free weekend is next weekend after some counties head back to class. Some of the shoppers we talked to -- from Georgia and South Carolina -- have said they plan to take advantage of both.


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