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Tax-free holiday set for this weekend

Butler County shoppers will get quite a bit more bang for their buck this weekend as the county participates in the 12th annual sales tax holiday.

The holiday, which is scheduled to last from 12:01 a.m. Friday until midnight following Sunday, will cover non-accessory clothing items less than $100, certain school supplies, computers and books.

Francine Wasden, executive director of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce, said that the holiday holds much value for Butler County in more ways than one.

“I think it’s our way of giving back, and realizing that it’s so costly this day and time for families that have several children going to school, and they’re required to have so many items,” Wasden said.

“It really is a savings, and we want to help those families in any way possible. [Greenville mayor] Dexter McLendon and the city council realize this, and we’re proud of it. 

“And another thing that I really want to stress is to shop right here at home.  We’ve got those items, and all of our stores are well stocked.  They know what the kids need—they’ve got lists, and everything is right in front of you.  So you don’t need to go anywhere else to shop.  Let’s shop local, and keep those dollars right here at home.”

James Packer, site manager of Greenville’s Walmart Supercenter, has prepared for the impending rush of thrifty consumers. But mostly, he’s happy that Walmart is able to be a positive force in the community.

“The whole mantra behind Walmart is to save money and live better, so any time we can partner with the government and the community, we’re happy to,” Packer said. “The biggest and most important thing we can do here is to provide the shopping materials needed to educate our young people.”

Other businesses around town are participating as well, including Goody’s, which will be offering tax exemptions for clothing, shoes and backpacks.  However, clothing accessories—such as belt buckles, handbags, briefcases, jewelry, wallets, watches, etc.—will remain taxable.

Computers, computer software and school computer supplies will also be tax exempt this weekend.  This includes computer storage media, personal digital assistants (PDAs), printers and print supplies.  This doesn’t, however, include video games of a non-educational nature or systems, devices, software or peripherals intended primarily for recreational use.

Wasden said that though the tax-free weekend is an opt-in experience, Butler County has never passed up an opportunity to be involved because of a desire to compete with the other participating counties and municipalities, all in an effort to keep commerce right here in the county.

“We’re honoring that just like the other larger cities and towns, and so we realize the importance of shopping right here at home,” Wasden said.

“Mainly, from the chamber’s standpoint, we just want people to realize that it keeps people employed and it keeps the economy thriving right here at home.  Shop at home, shop local and always shop where you see the camellia.”