ELIZABETHTOWN — While many back-to-school shoppers are mourning the demise of the state’s tax free weekend, one Bladen County business will still offer a tax-free weekend of sorts.
Ricky Leinwand, owner of Leinwand’s Department Store in Elizabethtown, said that he will pay the sales taxes for his customer’s purchases on the first weekend in August.
“It was such an important two days for us. I’m going to pay the taxes for my customers,” said Leinwand.
He said the tax-free weekend had been as big as Black Friday for some businesses in North Carolina. Leinwand added that South Carolina and Virginia are still planning to offer a sales-tax holiday for back-to-school shopping. Also, according to reports, the state of Tennessee will be offering a tax-free holiday the first weekend in August and, according to WMC Action News 5 in Mississippi, that state decided to make the last weekend of July a tax-free holiday.
Leinwand said, “For some, back-to-school is very important for their businesses. To me it was a nice gesture for our small businesses.”
He added that the state claims it lost revenue due to the tax holiday, but he argued that, for some businesses, it was a bonus. According to WTVD, legislators argued the state lost about $13 million in revenue due to the tax holiday. The N.C. General Assembly repealed the sales tax holiday in 2013 when it adopted House Bill 998 called the North Carolina Tax Simplification and Reduction Act. The legislation also repealed the Energy Star appliance sales tax holiday which occurs in November, according to reports. This will be the first weekend without the tax-free holiday since 2002, according to reports.
The August sales-tax holiday once covered such items as school supplies, clothing, shoes, computers and printers, and certain types of sports equipment.
“It created jobs. It was kinda like Christmas (in that sense),” said Leinwand. “It created a big shopping weekend. Two of our best days were in August. It kind of spurred the economy and kept businesses open.”
Leinwand said that his store will have items everyone need for back-to-school such as school uniforms, shoes such as Nike, New Balance, and other shoes. He added for those that don’t need school uniforms, there will be other back-to-school related items on sale as well.