East Texans Take Advantage of Tax less Shopping

Day one of the 2007 tax-free weekend was a success for most East Texas retailers and customers alike.

"It helps a lot because you can buy two, three shirts with no tax and I bought four shirts today and it saved me a lot of money," said Yulonda Baletka of Livingston."

At least two of the parents we spoke to at Kmart Friday said they saved more than $30 on pajamas, jackets, hosiery and other items.

Lena Riddley of Lufkin said, "We're on social security and disability, so every penny we save is a really big deal."

Some residents choose to wait until after the tax-free holiday to shop. They believe many retailers try to take advantage of the holiday by jacking up the price of certain items, but most shoppers disagree.

Karen Morre of Livingston bought "shirts, shorts, jackets, pants [and] boxers." She said her overall shopping experience "was a good deal."

From shoes and skirt sets to jeans and jerseys, most clothing items under $100 are tax free all weekend, but some items are not exempt from sales tax.

Cathyrn Ford, Lufkin Kmart department manager, said, "Anything in H.B.A., the pantry, house wares [and] sporting goods" is taxable.

And remember, the earlier you shop the better deals you'll get. Many retailers are extending their store hours for cost-conscious customers during the weekend rush.