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Sales-tax holiday starts Aug. 3

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Julie Graham
Landmark News Service

In early July, Danielle Fleck loaded her online cart with $233 worth of school supplies and clicked “Save for Later.”
The Indian Land mother of three plans to take advantage of South Carolina’s sales-tax holiday Aug. 3-5, which includes clothing, shoes, backpacks, computers, bedding and bath towels. The items are exempt from the state’s 6 percent sales tax and any applicable local taxes.
“It might be the time to buy a new laptop,” said Fleck, who has a knack for scoping out sales and finding the best deals.
In past years, South Carolina shoppers have saved up to $3 million during the tax-free weekend, according to the state’s Revenue Department. The tax-free weekend generally intersects with retailers’ back-to-school sales for optimal savings.
“South Carolina’s sales-tax-free weekend benefits customers and retailers,” said Bonnie Swingle, public information director of the SCDOR. “Parents save money on back-to-school items for their children, while retailers experience increased traffic.”
For those venturing to college and dorm living, bed and bath linens are included in the tax exemption.
Susan Jones helped her eldest daughter, Mia, pick out a new pencil pouch on a July day at the Walmart in Indian Land. The Harrisburg Elementary School fifth-grader settled on a pink pouch with the image of a cute white kitten.  
On the summer day, the seasonal section at the front of the store had remnants of the July 4th holiday, but plenty of shelf space for back-to-school supplies to be added.
Jones buys school supplies when her daughters see something they like, such as the perfect pencil pouch, but reserves most of the back-to-school shopping for the sales tax holiday. Even a list of little things adds up.
“I love the savings,” she said. “I buy the standard items on the school supply list and clothes and uniforms.”
To avoid the crowds, Jones shops early in the morning. She said her daughters slow her down by having too many color, pattern and theme choices on back-to-school items.
“There’s a lot of choices,” Jones said with a laugh, pointing to the dozens of pencil pouch options for girls on the Walmart shelves.

What’s tax-exempt?
◆ Clothing
◆ Clothing accessories such as hats and handbags
◆ Footwear
◆ School supplies
◆ Computers, printers, printer supplies and computer software
◆ Bed and bath linens
Source: South Carolina Department of Revenue, dor.sc.gov