UNION — Shoppers will be able to receive big sales tax breaks during this weekend’s three-day sales tax holiday.
The 2014 South Carolina sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 1, and will run through midnight, Sunday, Aug. 3. The idea behind alleviating the state sales taxes for a few days was to make back-to-school shopping a bit more affordable, giving buyers a break on the cost of school supplies, clothes, footwear, and a variety of other items which are big sellers this time of year.
This weekend, the 6 percent state sales and use tax, and any applicable local sales and use tax, will not be imposed on clothing, clothing accessories (including hats, scarves, hosiery, and handbags), footwear, school supplies (including pens, pencils, paper, binders, notebooks, books, book bags, lunchboxes, and calculators), computers (including printers, printer supplies and computer software), bath wash cloths, blankets, bed spreads, bed linens, sheet sets, comforter sets, bath towels, shower curtains, bath rugs and mats, pillows, and pillow cases.
The sales tax holiday, however, does not apply to sales of jewelry, cosmetics, eye wear, wallets, watches, furniture, rental of clothing or footwear, items for use in a business, or items placed on layaway or similar deferred payment and delivery plans.
The South Carolina Department of Revenue has published two advisory opinions concerning the sales tax holiday. Each detailed list of exempt and non-exempt items is available on the department’s website at www.sctax.org.
Local stores in Union are prepared for extra shopping traffic this weekend.
Belk store manager Gwen Ganzaroli said Belk will have extended store hours for the weekend — 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.-8p.m. Sunday.
“Hopefully we’ll be very busy,” Ganzaroli said. “I think traffic will be good this weekend.”
Ganzaroli mentioned that all clearance items will be 50 percent off, in addition to two-day “door busters.”
Belk has several ongoing promotions including a contest in which customers can win concert tickets and a Kidsfest event in which children can sign up to win a modeling contract from Belk. One child will be chosen to represent Union. The local Belk store is also accepting clean, slightly used jeans for a “trade in, trade up” promotion. Traded-in jeans will be donated to United Way, and donors will receive a $5 coupon for new jeans.
Wal-mart is also preparing for the tax-free weekend.
“These will definitely be our biggest shopping days for back-to-school items,” said Christy King, a manager at Wal-mart. “We are definitely going to be busy, and we’re already preparing with staffing, making sure our back-to-school sections will be covered.”
King said back-to-school items will be featured throughout the front of the store, on end-caps, and in the seasonal back-to-school section of the store. Wal-mart is also participating in the Fill the Bus program, accepting school supplies donations on Saturday and Wednesday to help children in need.
For more information about the upcoming tax-free weekend, visit www.sctax.org.