Shoppers take advantage of tax-free holiday

Published 10:41 am Saturday, August 6, 2011

FRANKLIN—Courtland resident Hope Jenkins was pleasantly surprised to learn Friday was the start of the state’s sales tax holiday.

Rachel Powell and her 18-month-old, Morgan, shop at Belk on Friday, the start of Virginia’s three-day sales tax holiday. -- DALE LIESCH | TIDEWATER NEWS

“I knew it was coming up,” said Jenkins, who was shopping with her daughter Kim Anderson at Belk on Friday.

Shoppers were in full swing taking advantage of the 5 percent sales tax break on clothing, school supplies and other items through Sunday, Aug. 7.

“We had good traffic when we first opened,” said Belk Store Manager Tonya Faison.

The sales did nothing but intensify Franklin resident Betty Eley’s need to shop.

“I came out because of the tax-free weekend and I came to shop, so hey,” Eley said. “I’m going to take advantage of this day.”

Windsor resident Rachel Powell brought her 18-month-old daughter, Morgan, out for a girls’ day of shopping. Powell was shopping for her kids and stocking up.

“I’m buying things for next year,” she said.

The tax holiday started nicely for Shoe Show in the Walmart plaza, which had a line at the cash register at about 11 a.m.

“It’s wonderful because you can save some money,” said Caroline Gray of Newsoms.

Manager Elaine Banks was happy with the number of shoppers and expected to stay busy throughout the day.

“We’ve been busy all morning,” Banks said. “There’s been a steady flow of people and phone calls.”

Banks said the store began holding merchandise for people on Thursday.

“I’m hoping with the tax-free weekend, it will help with sales and put money back into the local community,” she said.

An increase in sales would allow her to give employees more hours, which would circulate through the local economy.

“It helps a lot,” said Courtland resident Charlene Blow of the tax holiday. “Tax is high, especially if you buy a certain amount.”