Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Overblown tax-free weekend

This Friday through Sunday is the annual sales tax free weekend for shoppers across the state. It's timed just prior to the start of school so the consumers can flock to retail stores and save tons of money and get all these great bargains.

Or maybe not.

I've never really understood the lure of this tax-free weekend. It's more symbolic than actual savings. And you really don't save all that much in what is tax-free eligible.

Sales tax is 8.25 percent. That's 8 percent off. A store usually doesn't even advertise a sale unless it's at least 10 percent off. It's really hardly anything.

Say you buy $50 worth of clothes. That's a savings of $4.12. So your total is $45.88. Woo-hoo! Or you make the maximum one-time purchase of $100. Your total is $91.75. Saved $8.25.

Every bit helps, I guess, and it's better than a stick in the eye. Maybe folks think they're putting one over on the government. But in reality, it's hardly worth the line and crowds for what is really pretty meager savings.

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