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Families hit stores for back-to-school shopping on last day of tax-free week

Nine-year-old Kayla Hession wandered through the aisles of Kohl's with her sister, 11-year-old Bryanna and their mom, Kate Hession.

Kayla and Bryanna looked at shoes, from sneakers to boots to sandals, sitting down on the ground or a chair among the frenzy of back-to-school shopping to try different styles on before getting up to strut up and down the aisles.

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The Hessions, who live in Westminster, were spending the afternoon at Kohl's looking at clothes and shoes. Bryanna, who will attend West Middle School this year, said in addition to clothes — like T-shirts and jeans — she needed school supplies like pens, pencils, erasers, folders and binders.

Kate Hession said they wanted to come out and shop on the last day of Maryland Shop Tax-Free Week. During the week, which occurs each August, the state's 6 percent sales tax is waived on purchases of qualified apparel and footwear items costing $100 or less.

Going shopping with her girls is fun, Hession said. She said she likes the fact that the girls are individuals, adding that the two like different things.

"Every year they get older, they get a little easier [to shop with]," she added, laughing.

The Hession family weren't the only ones out Saturday taking advantage of the last day of tax-free week to save some money on back-to-school shopping.

The National Retail Federation is predicting a 10 percent jump in back-to-school spending from last year. Spending for elementary to high school students is expected to be $29.5 billion, or about $688 each, and college students are expected to spend an all-time high of more than $54 billion, roughly $970 per family, NRF reports. About half of that will be on clothing and shoes.

Kim Diamond and her daughter Abby, 6, look at clothes while back to school shopping at Kohl's in Westminster Saturday, August 19, 2017. Abby is going into first-grade at William Winchester Elementary School.
Kim Diamond and her daughter Abby, 6, look at clothes while back to school shopping at Kohl's in Westminster Saturday, August 19, 2017. Abby is going into first-grade at William Winchester Elementary School. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Carroll County Public Schools open on Sept. 5 this year.

Andrea Alcindor, of Reisterstown, was shopping Saturday with her daughter, 11-year-old Brienna. Alcindor was taking advantage of tax-free shopping for some clothes and shoes for Brienna.

Alcindor said while Brienna wears a uniform her school — she attends Arlington Baptist School — they still needed to pick up shoes and clothes for sports, and a few fun things.

"I like skirts," Brienna, a soon-to-be seventh-grader said.

She picked out a few different skirts, some with emojis on them, another with stripes.

Joshua Wagner, 11, of Westminster, peruses backpacks at Staples in Westminster while shopping for school items Saturday, August 19, 2017. Wagner will be going into the sixth-grade at West Middle School.
Joshua Wagner, 11, of Westminster, peruses backpacks at Staples in Westminster while shopping for school items Saturday, August 19, 2017. Wagner will be going into the sixth-grade at West Middle School. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Carrie Thompson, of New Windsor, wandered through clothing wracks with her granddaughters, 8-year-old Lana Emmerick and 5-year-old Heidi Emmerick. The three were looking for shoes, school clothes and even bathing suits that were on sale.

Lana said she was looking at some floral dresses and some clothes that were blue. Blue's her favorite color, she added.

For Heidi, all things pink and purple were on her list.

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Thompson said they came out Saturday for the shopping deals, adding that the back-to-school shopping tradition is always enjoyable.

"It's just fun getting new things," she said. "We do this every year."



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