SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Thanks to Louisiana's tax holiday, many back-to-school shoppers are out in force this weekend.
Louisiana's tax break, that began Friday, August 4 and ends after midnight Saturday, August 5, has lowered the state sales tax from 5% to 3%. Experts credit an improving economy for their prediction that this back-to-school season will be the second highest spending level ever.
Back-to-school spending is expected to rise 8% this year compared to last, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
From pens and pencils to backpacks and notebooks, it's back-to-school shopping time.
As for the turnout, shopper Dinah Davis said stores really weren't that bad.
"I really expected it to be crowded," Davis said. "It was not. I've been in several stores and they're not crowded."
A recent study funded by the NRF predicts the average American family will spend just under $688-dollars per child for back-to-school shopping this year.
"Between shoes, backpacks and getting them ready for school, that wouldn't surprise me at all," said Maxie Rambin.
As for retailers, Louisiana's 2% state sales tax break could only help increase the number of shoppers.
"It's actually made me really come out. I came out for that and I'm going furniture shopping next," added a smiling Rambin.
Fellow shopper Evelyn Khelama echoed the same sentiment.
"It always helps," Khelama said. "Because you save so much money."
The second most popular item for back-to-school shoppers this year, at least according to the NRF is electronics. Their study predicts Americans will spend $8.8 billion this year on just that. Nearly half of electronics shoppers plan to buy a laptop with another third buying a tablet or calculator.
And Best Buy supervisor K.D. Walls said he can always spot those back-to-school shoppers.
"They give you that look and it's just like, 'oh, I need some help.' Back-to-school? We already know. So, you can just tell right off the top," said Walls.
But one shopper said two of the three stores she shopped at on this Saturday actually forgot about the sales tax discount until she reminded them.
"You would think they would have their registers programmed for this on this day. But, they did not," Davis said.
We're told the best advice: Always check your receipt.
In Arkansas, the tax-free weekend started this Saturday, August 5 and runs through Sunday, August 6. Shoppers in Texas will have an entire weekend of tax-free shopping next weekend, from August 11 to 13.