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Buying school supplies will be easier on the wallet across state this weekend

Melissa Hubbard checks out school supplies with her nephew Matt Hubbard, 11, during a back-to-school trip to Target on Monday.
Melissa Hubbard checks out school supplies with her nephew Matt Hubbard, 11, during a back-to-school trip to Target on Monday.

Penny-pinchers will flock to stores this weekend to stuff their carts with pencils, pens, backpacks and the latest back-to-school styles without paying one dime in taxes.

South Carolina's back-to-school sales tax holiday begins Friday and lasts until midnight Sunday. During that time, all purchases of clothing, computers, school supplies, dormitory gear and more will be exempt from the 6 percent state sales tax, according to the S.C. Department of Revenue. All local and county taxes, such as York County's 1-cent sales tax for roads, "Pennies For Progress," also will be lifted for the weekend.

The tax holiday began in 2000 to offer families a break on their back-to-school bills and to boost revenues for retailers.

"We're expecting big sales," said James Head, manager of Rock Hill's Target store. "It's probably the third biggest weekend of the year (behind post-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas weekends)."

Head said he's expecting large crowds all three days of the weekend. He's scheduling extra staff and has been stocking up on the most popular items -- from classroom supplies to college dormitory accessories -- for the past month to be prepared.

At J.C. Penney in the Rock Hill Galleria, manager Carolyn Amer said she expects to sell a high volume of back-to-school fashions. Amer said her store has a special emphasis on Rock Hill's school dress code this year that requires middle-schoolers to wear standardized clothing.

"We've got a special section with school uniforms," she said. "It definitely will be busy."

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