MIAMI (WSVN) - Big changes are in store for parents and students hoping to take advantage of back to school, tax free weekend.
“Merchandise under $60 is tax free as well as school supplies under $15,” said Madelyn Bello Calvar of Dolphin Mall, “so that incentivizes customers to come out during the weekend to do back to school shopping.”
At Dolphin Mall, merchants are gearing up for an especially busy weekend of shoppers turning out with students of all ages in mind. “We’re just expecting a great weekend of a lot of sales and promotions that our stores are offering our customers,” Bello Calvar said.
Dacus Elcock said she’s always looking for deals when shopping for her kids. “I look all the time for deals,” she said. “Oh, it’s very expensive. Clothes, shoes, any deals, anything we can find good deals on.”
Wal-Mart is working to make the process more convenient for shoppers as well. “We have the list from schools nearby – the local schools – so it’s going to be easier for customers when they come into the store, they can grab the school list,” said Wal-Mart Assistant Manager Jorge Mastrata.
Most of the popular items will be located in an easily accessible section in the store. “We have set our biggest section for back to school and back to college in the garden center area,” Mastrata said. “It’s going to be easier for customers to shop around and to get the merchandise. We have registers on the side for a faster shopping experience.”
Some shoppers only wished the tax-free period was longer. “It’s wonderful, it’s wonderful. It should be a tax-free week, not weekend” said Elsa Vasquez.
Other shoppers are disappointed in rules for 2016’s tax free season. It’s the tightest since 2010 and the lowest of any of the 17 states participating in a sales tax holiday, so instead of waiting for the weekend, some are doing their shopping now. “I prefer coming during the week to avoid crowds,” said Christelle Minot.
Mother of three Ida Arias echoed Minot’s sentiments. “There are so many restrictions this year, it really doesn’t make it worth it to save two or three dollars,” Arias said.
Arias said cutting the tax free shopping period from 10 days to two, reducing the spending limits from $100 to $60, and removing computers and technology accessories from eligibility is disappointing. “How it was last year was perfect,” she said. “I had more days to shop. With three kids and extracurriculars, it’s not much easy to always make it to the store. I had more time to shop, and I saved much more money.”
You can find guidelines and a list of eligible items by going to: dor.myflorida.com/dor/tips/pdf/tip16a01-06_2016final06022016.pdf.
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