08/03/08 — Shoppers save with temporary tax break

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Shoppers save with temporary tax break

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 3, 2008 11:02 AM

If the scenes playing out at local stores Saturday were all you knew about consumer spending, you might find it hard to believe that some experts suggest the American economy is on the brink of recession.

But then you talk to those who packed the aisles this tax-free weekend and realize just why saving a few dollars of sales tax means so much.

Brenda Reed said the hundreds of dollars she had spent by the lunch hour is money she likely won't be able to shell out later this year.

"Not if gas prices keep going the way they are going," she said. "I'm spending now, thinking without taxes this is as low as this stuff is going to sell for. Hopefully, I'll thank myself later."

So with her husband's "blessing," she set out to buy all the school supplies her three children would need this fall.

Across town, Dudley resident John Wilson was looking through shirts and slacks at the Rosewood Wal-Mart.

"Today is the day to update the wardrobe, I reckon," he said. "I might only save 20 bucks, but these days, that's a welcome 20."

But there were some who were not even thinking about the money they might save as they placed items into their carts.

Like 8-year-old Josie Higgins.

She spent most of the morning surprised that the toys she kept putting in her mother's cart were not getting placed right back on the shelf.

"She probably doesn't understand why Mommy is buying her so much today," her mother, Jennie, said. "Maybe by the time I send her to college she will have learned to appreciate managing a budget."