Stores Get Ready for Tax-Free Shopping Weekend - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

8/2/2006

Stores Get Ready for Tax-Free Shopping Weekend

Along with parents, the tax break is also a gift to retailers.

Stores anticipate so much shopping that they have called it "Christmas in August."

The state's first-ever weekend without a sales tax could end up being the most profitable weekend of the year.

The stores were already filled with sales, but the tax-free weekend makes savings even sweeter for some shoppers.

At the Upscale Boutique in Gallatin, store owner Deborah McNelley wanted customers to know that they'll be able to save big bucks when shopping for school.

"With Tennessee taxes being nine and a quarter, it's going to be a huge savings. People are really going to be able to tell the difference." McNelley said.

The state's first-ever sales tax holiday applies to a long list of items including school supplies, clothes and shoes.

Gov. Phil Bredesen visited four counties Wednesday to remind Tennesseans of the sales tax holiday. He went to retail outlets in Shelby, Hamilton, Washington and Knox Counties.

"This weekend's first-ever sales tax holiday in Tennessee is the realization of one of the goals I set when I first took office," Bredesen said. "The sales tax holiday underscores my commitment to education. The three-day holiday will provide tax savings for Tennessee's working families as they prepare for the school year ahead."

At the Upscale Boutique, an item regularly priced at $17.99, now costs only $8.99 with a 50-percent off sale and the tax discount.

From this downtown Gallatin boutique to much larger stores like the Rugged Wearhouse, a lot of planning was needed for what is expected to be a tax-free frenzy weekend.

"We had to hire additional staff. Pretty much everybody that can work is working," Jeff Hollis, of the Rugged Wearhouse, said.

Since shoppers are expected to buy pretty much everything that's on the tax-free list, this is expected to be one weekend that parents, store owners and even the state won't soon forget.

The state has been working with retailers for months now preparing for this big weekend.

Many stores have the tax-free items programmed in the register so hopefully, things will run smoothly.

The tax-free shopping begins exactly at 12:01 a.m. Friday morning, and ends on Sunday night.

Bredesen toured the state, reminding residents how much they could save.

"If you can save $25, $50, $75 in terms of getting your kids ready for back to school, I think it really does help people," Bredesen said.

Not everything you buy this weekend will be tax-free.

For a complete list of items eligible for the tax-free discount, click here.

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