NC businesses entice shoppers in absence of tax-free weekend

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina parents and students have taken advantage of the sales tax-free weekend for clothing and school supplies since 2002. But state lawmakers put a halt to the holiday last year.

“I took it for granted. It’s something we get every year,” shopper Shannon Britt told WSOC-TV.

North Carolina lawmakers eliminated the holiday in the tax reform bill, saying it cost the state more than $13 million in lost revenue.

“It’s normally a really big weekend for us, so it’ll be interesting to see the first year there isn’t a tax-free weekend how it affects us,” Julie’s Boutique manager Daisy Carpenter said.

The North Carolina Retail Merchant Association is now hoping to convince lawmakers to reinstate the sales-tax holiday, especially since it generated sales second only to Black Friday for many businesses. The association is looking at conducting a study to prove the state still makes money overall, since shoppers spend on gas and other non-taxable goods.

Many stores are now getting creative to entice shoppers: This weekend, Concord Mills is promising shoppers “better than tax-free savings” with an additional 10 percent off. Julie’s Boutique also plans on offering deep discounts to customers.

“They’ll still spend their time with us shopping and enjoy their weekend,” Carpenter said.

Bargain hunters can still head out of state to South Carolina, where the tax-free weekend will be taking place next weekend.

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