Shoppers stock up and save during tax-free weekend

MASON CITY, Iowa - Stores across Iowa have seen a major boost in business this weekend, thanks to a state wide tax-free weekend.

Iowa lawmakers approved the annual tax holiday in 1999. The idea was to give families a financial break as they picked up some everyday essentials. Customers state wide have been taking advantage of the deal since Friday, and many are using this tax-free opportunity to stock up on back-to-school essentials.

Shantel Howe was one of many shoppers strolling around Southbridge Mall on Saturday. She tells us this break in the sales tax not only helps her pocket book, but her schedule as well. She says if this weren’t an option, she would do her back-to-school shopping in neighboring states, like Minnesota.

Keeping business within the state is just one of the benefits of the weekend, however consumer reports indicate that when people save more with not paying sales taxes, they in turn tend to spend more.

As the manager of JC Penny in Mason City, Holly Kruger has seen her fair share of tax-free weekends over the years. “It’s a mini Black Friday,” she says. Kruger tells us that since so many people take advantage of the tax-free deal, stores across the area have been on high alert to get people into their doors. “Everybody wants your business,” Krugers says, “so we are all throwing out extra incentives to help you save some money.”

Between discounts, deals and extended day-time hours, the tax-free weekend was an overall success. Iowa is one of 15 states in the U.S. that honor annual tax holidays. While numbers have not been released indicating how much money the state brought in in revenue, Kruger believes weekends like this will continue to flourish and bring in extra business.

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