Sharing My Insights About South Carolina’s Tax-Free Weekend

Jenna Herazo of WPDE recently interviewed me for an August 4, 2023, story on WPDE TV 15 about the State of South Carolina’s “Tax Tree Weekend.” In this interview, I discussed the nuances and benefits of this unique shopping event, especially in light of the current economic climate. Here’s a concise overview of the key points from our discussion:

  1. Impact of Inflation on Savings: As I explained during the interview, while the Tax-Free Weekend eliminates the usual sales tax on purchases, inflation still plays a significant role. With inflation around 3% and sales tax in Horry County at 8% (9% in Myrtle Beach), the actual saving is slightly reduced. For instance, in Horry County, you save 8% on purchases, but with inflation considered, the real discount is effectively about 5%. Despite this, I emphasized that any saving is beneficial, especially in an inflationary environment.
  2. Focus on School-Related Purchases: The Tax-Free Weekend primarily targets back-to-school needs. Items like books, clothing, shoes, and other school-related supplies are exempt from tax. This focus significantly benefits families and students preparing for the new school year, allowing them to purchase necessary items at a reduced cost. I noted that many consumers, particularly parents with multiple children, strategically wait for this weekend to make substantial purchases of school supplies.
  3. Consumer Benefits Despite Inflation: Despite the impact of inflation, the Tax-Free Weekend still offers real savings for consumers. Shoppers can effectively manage their budgets by planning and purchasing during this period. The event not only provides financial relief but also stimulates local economic activity. I affirmed that from a consumer perspective, the Tax-Free Weekend is indeed beneficial, as it allows for considerable savings on essential items.

South Carolina’s Tax-Free Weekend presents a significant opportunity for consumers, particularly in the current economic landscape marked by inflation. While inflationary pressures might subtly impact the savings, the event still offers substantial financial relief, especially for families and students gearing up for the school year. Ultimately, it’s a win-win for both consumers and the local economy, fostering a smart shopping culture.


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Matthew A. Gilbert, MBA, is a marketing lecturer at Coastal Carolina University, where he teaches advertising, consumer behavior, personal selling, and principles of marketing courses. Research-oriented, he focuses on artificial intelligence, the sharing economy, and social media, with a burgeoning interest in sports marketing. He also facilitates professional development workshops and has delivered three TEDx Talks. As a consultant, he crafts marketing content, creates business curriculum, and composes professional communications.