JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Mall at Johnson City was packed with shoppers on Friday as Tennessee’s Tax-free weekend takes effect for the school year.

Starting first thing Friday morning, stores in Tennessee were no longer required to collect sales taxes on several items until midnight on Sunday:

  • School Supplies Under $100
  • Clothing and Shoes under $100
  • Art Supplies under $100
  • Computers and Tablets under $1,500

For Tri-Cities residents, that tax break meant making it out before school started to catch some much-needed deals.

“It’s nice to save money,” said 18-year-old Ezekial Watts. “It’s always nice to save money.”

For Watts, tax-free weekends are a yearly tradition that let him update his wardrobe and get prepared for the fall. For this year, he said he plotted out a game plan early.

“I usually plan it out, like I do my clothes and stuff on Friday,” Watts said. “And then the next day I’ll do my electronics or my books.”

As the weekend goes on, Watts said he expects to see shelves clear out. Rather than searching for vital school supplies and work clothes on Sunday, he goes for the essentials first thing on Friday before shopping for personal treats.

“I make sure I get what I need first,” Watts said. “And then I get what I want after.”

For parents, tax-free weekends mark an unofficial end to summer vacation as they get classroom-bound kids back into the store to try on this year’s hottest items. Catherine Taylor, a mom of two, said the reduced prices are a welcome relief after a costly break.

“Anything helps,” Taylor said. “Because it adds up when you’ve got lots of little ones.”

From tennis shoes to new shirts that will inevitably get grass-stained, Catherine said her crew always looks forward to the chance to get out and shop as a family.

“We get everything done and that way we’re ready for school on Monday,” Taylor said. “We are prepared, and ready, and they can start the school year with some fresh new stuff.”