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      Tax free weekend begins in South Carolina

      Back to school shopping was well underway for Midlands residents like Anastasia Vann. She came to Wal-Mart Friday to help her grandson get ready for the new school year with help from the state's annual tax-free weekend.

      "To have a tax break by any means is a great thing. Especially when you are a consumer and trying to meet the cost of living", Vann said.

      She is one of thousands expected to keep retailers busy until Sunday at midnight. The state department of revenue ranks the sales tax holiday weekend as the third-busiest shopping period of the year; behind the weekend of Thanksgiving and the weekend before Christmas. It is estimated that shoppers will save more that $3 million this weekend.

      Dale Artis, Managers of the Wal-Mart on Bush River Road, said the savings can add up.

      "It could mean the difference of $10 free tax, and can enable shoppers to get an extra backpack or an extra outfit for their children."

      Even small, local businesses like KD's Treehouse on Devine Street will reap the benefits of residents who want to shop local, according to Owner Dea Baughman.

      "It gives consumers who would like to support local but can't always afford to, it gives them incentive. We get really heavy foot traffic; probably 50-75% on the street."

      Vann plans to go back to school to become a doctor, and said the adults can take advantage of the weekend too.

      "Back to school shopping is not just for the young ones. It is for the adults too. The grown-ups that go back to school have to look at the electronics and computers; as well as the cost."

      For a complete list of items that are and are not tax free, click here.