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Shopping is an exciting time for Savannah Morrow, who is looking for back-to-school clothes at Martin's in Decatur on Friday with her sister Whitney and her grandmother Nancy. Both Morrow girls will attend Cotaco School, Savannah in the first grade and Whitney in the sixth grade.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Shopping is an exciting time for Savannah Morrow, who is looking for back-to-school clothes at Martin's in Decatur on Friday with her sister Whitney and her grandmother Nancy. Both Morrow girls will attend Cotaco School, Savannah in the first grade and Whitney in the sixth grade.

LIGHTING UP EYES, CASH REGISTERS
Sales tax holiday drawing in shoppers

By Ronnie Thomas rthomas@decaturdaily.com 340-2438

Christy Meyer knew she would have to get busy after a friend called Thursday to tell her about the sales tax holiday.

With three children, she needs all the breaks she can get.

"I was going shopping today, but I've got to make sure to get it all done this weekend, to take advantage of the tax break," she said Friday, as she and the children looked for school supplies at Staples. "Now, I'll finish it up by Sunday."

The state's second annual sales tax holiday, which began Friday at 12:01 a.m., ends Sunday at midnight, and Meyer and other parents are out in force.

More than 120 counties and cities responded to the measure the Legislature passed late in the 2006 session, designed to offer back-to-school shoppers a financial break on clothes, computers and other school supplies.

In Decatur, the move dropped the total 9 percent sales tax

Each of Meyer's children moved in and out of the aisles at Staples with their school shopping lists. Brielle, 12, is a seventh-grader at Cedar Ridge Middle School. Bailey, 9, a fourth-grader, and Kade, 6, a first-grader, attend Julian Harris Elementary School.

Brielle's list noted all supplies she'll need, at least at the start of the term, by class, including homeroom, and subject.

"When school starts, teachers will ask for specific materials that they'll still need," said Meyer, 34. "When you've got three kids, the list can be a mile long."

At Staples, she said she and the children bought the "hard-to-find stuff" first.

"Everybody needs plastic vinyl folders with brads and pockets," she said. "I'll be paying about $80 for those items. Now, we're doing the easy stuff, such as paper, crayons, glue and scissors. We'll start looking for school clothes next."

That's how Karen Beasley started her tax break quest Friday, at Martin's department store, her two children, Keller, 7, and Logan, 3, in tow. Keller is in second grade at Julian Harris and Logan attends Adventureland Pre-School at Beltline Church of Christ.

"I didn't want to fight the crowds for their supplies, and I went ahead and got them earlier," said Beasley, 37. "I didn't spend more than $40. Now, I'm concentrating on their clothes, shorts and stuff that they'll be comfortable in for school. We're making our rounds, starting here."

Beasley is excited not only about the break in sales taxes but the sales that stores are offering.

Also, Carol Polston, Martin's manager, said her store is offering an advantage for customers after the sales tax holiday.

"For every $50 purchase through Sunday, customers will receive a coupon for $20 off on $50 purchases made Monday and Tuesday," she said.

Polston said her store opened Friday at 9 a.m. to a steady number of shoppers.

"The tax holiday was fabulous for us last year, and we're expecting it to be even better this year," she said. "We're staffed to the max to handle the flow."

She said Martin's also extended its hours for the weekend, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

No tax

Businesses in Athens, Hartselle and Moulton also are participating in the tax free weekend.

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