Tax-free weekend in North Carolina, not a moment too soon

    In North Carolina, when the going gets tough, the state's residents go shopping.  Today is the first day of Tax Free Weekend in the state, a once a year event that helps strapped consumers -- and strapped retailers -- through the back to school shopping season.  The Tax Free Weekend comes just a couple of days after the state legislature passed a roster of tax increases.
    Tax-free items for the weekend include virtually all clothing as well as certain other items that both directly and loosely could be construed as for the benefit of a student.  Other, totally unrelated items -- think diapers for the elderly and baby's rubber pants -- have found their way onto the roster of items free of sales tax for the three days.  Most purchases must be less than $100, but tax-free spending for a new computer, for example, can be as much as $3,500.  A long list of sports items also avoid the taxman this weekend, but it is always best to ask your friendly merchant if the golf stuff you will stock up on are on the list.  
    South Carolina and other states are also sponsoring tax-free weekends.

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