Lowcountry stores gear up for tax free weekend

Lowcountry stores gear up for tax free weekend
Wedding dresses are on the list for tax exemption this weekend (Source: Live 5)
Wedding dresses are on the list for tax exemption this weekend (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina's annual sales tax holiday runs August 5-7 this year, and shoppers are expected to save an estimated $2.25 million, according to the South Carolina Board of Economic Advisers.

The exemption goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday and end at midnight Sunday.

During this time, shoppers will be able to forgo the six-percent state sales tax, and any applicable local taxes on the purchase of certain items.

Major box stores like Walmart are preparing for the number of customers who will walk through their doors.

Management at the store in North Charleston said Thursday they have their shelves stocked to the fullest, and will be replenishing school supplies, clothing, and electronics as customers purchase the items.

"We do this every year so we anticipate the coverage and the extra cashiers," said Lyne Dodson, Co-Manager of General Merchandise at Walmart. "Of course the merchandise is ready, so we're ready for the customers."

New this year, Walmart has an online grocery service available at eight Lowcountry stores. Shoppers can shop back to school without leaving their vehicles.

"We basically shop for them and deliver the items right to their car," Dodson said. "[It prevents them from] being in the store and the crowd."

During holiday weekend shoppers will be exempt from paying sales tax on clothing and footwear, school supplies, computers, printers and more.

One exemption may surprise you though, and could save certain women a lot of money in the long run.

Bridal items, including wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses are all tax exempt, with purchase.

Betsy Watts, a manager at Bridals by Jodi, in West Ashley, says this is one of their busiest weekends of the year.

"All summer we let brides know that it's coming up, and that if this isn't your day (to say yes), then that first weekend in August is a great weekend to buy your dress," Watts said.

"I think that's a good thing," said Allie McGee, a teacher. "I just had a few friends get married this summer and wedding dresses are expensive, so I think that's a great thing to put on the list."

Watts added with Charleston being a wedding capital in the United States, they usually see a fluid number of customers come through their doors throughout the year.

Now with the exemption on dresses, they're preparing for even more brides.

"You can get your backpack and your wedding gown, so you're ready to go for the year!" she joked. "That's all you need in life right? So we just kind of laugh about it. We're definitely going to take advantage of it because it's such a wonderful break for our brides. Tax free on our wedding gowns, it adds up [to big savings]."

Nonexempt items include the sale of jewelry, cosmetics, furniture, eye-wear or items placed on layaway, according to the State of South Carolina Department of Revenue.

For a full list of tax free items click here.

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