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Tax free weekend helps families save money on back to school essentials

South Carolina is having their annual tax free weekend, making plenty of things 6% cheaper.

SOUTH CAROLINA, USA — Sunday is the last day to take advantage of the tax-free weekend. Now, North Carolina does not participate in the annual sales tax holiday but border states like South Carolina do.

Over in Tega Cay, families are rolling in and out of Walmart with shopping carts full of school essentials.

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“My granddaughter is going to pre-k so I thought it would be a great time to get out and get her some school clothes,” Deb Nugent said. "And she really enjoyed shopping with me today."

Kids are soon heading back to the classroom and folks are making the most of this tax break.

“I try to get a good deal like on clothes because they are really needed. Especially shoes because right now with inflation everything is up," Ceida Ordonez said who is shopping for her two boys. "I'm just trying to save some money,” she continued. 

With record high inflation families can expect to spend 40% more on their back-to-school shopping this year according to the National Retail Federation

“This is just bringing back nightmares of how expensive everything is, food, fuel everything. And I really feel for the young families,” Nugent said.

So what’s exempt from the state’s 6% sales tax and local applicable taxes; clothing, accessories, shoes, school supplies, backpacks and computers.

Justin Martinez got a good deal on pants but the shopping isn't quite done.

“I need a bookbag, pencils, gluesticks, markers and erasers,” he said.

Once the list is complete the 6th grader can focus on fighting those first days of school jitters.

“I feel kind of nervous because I'm going to a different school,” Martinez said. "This will be my first year in middle school."

For Nugent, she said this shopping trip was well worth it.

“It really does make a difference," she said. "It's a matter of a couple more outfits you can buy with the tax savings.”

The South Carolina Department of Revenue reports that in past years shoppers have saved between $2 million and $3 million during the tax-free weekend. 

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