University Mall Hosts Back To School Events

CHAPEL HILL -As your students get ready to go back to school, University Mall is holding a back to school day on August 24.

The event gives families an opportunity to visit with PTA members and other organizations, and will have a number of free activities for kids to take part in.  Community Director for University Mall, Jeanette Gulledge says the program was inspired by the people in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City School district.

“They came to us many years ago and wanted an opportunity to gather together the PTA organizations and some of the school representatives to meet the parents and the community, and get a lot questions answered before the school starts” Gulledge said.

Some of the activities that will be taking place at the event include make and take art with Kidzu, creating personalized trail mix recipes, personalizing binders with the scrap exchange, and demonstrations by the bouncing bulldogs and other groups.  Gullege says that the community has helped the event to grow.

“The community is very supportive of the event and different organizations wanted to take part, so every year we get a lot of after school programs like Boy Scouts, and Girl Scout, the Bouncing Bulldogs will be performing” Gullegde commented.

Performance Auto Mall has partnered with University Mall to hold a School Supply drive through the end of the month; the goal is to fill a Subaru Outback with school supplies that are donated.

Around University Mall there are red bins that you can put school supplies into to donate to the drive.  Several of the stores in the U-Mall will give discounts or free items if you donate from the list of supplies.  Marketing Director of Performance Auto Mall, Jill McCullough, says they partnered to make the School Drive better than last year.

“Performance Subaru, we held our own school supply drive last year, and we thought this year if we combine our efforts with University mall we can make it bigger and better and really yield a great result” said McCullough.

These events are among the several that are going on in the area to help raise school supplies for teachers and students.  Additionally on August 24 there will be drawing for a $500 shopping spree at Dillard’s.

For a list of acceptable supplies for the school drive click here.

The event will start at 10 a.m and will continue until 2 p.m

Final Tax Free Weekend Kicked Off At Midnight

Photo by gottsgraphicdesign.

CHAPEL HILL – Are your kids ready to start the school year with the best school supplies and a new wardrobe? Luckily, Tax Free Weekend is just around the corner.

Starting at midnight Friday and ending at 11:59 PM Sunday, Tax Free Weekend 2013 will relieve customers of taxes on clothing, school supplies, school instructional materials, sports, and recreation equipment, computers, and computer supplies.

Since 2001, North Carolina customers have enjoyed Tax Free Weekend, but 2013 brings the last relief from taxes for a while.

With the North Carolina State Legislature’s passage of the Tax Simplification and Reduction Act, starting in 2014, businesses can no longer offer the tax break to customers.

Jeff Nash, Executive Director of Community Relations on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, says Tax Free Weekend does offer financial help to families outfitting their children for the upcoming school year.

“It’s important for all of our students to arrive on the first day of school fully prepared,” said Nash. “Our teachers do want to hit the ground running and Tax Free Weekend is a great help to parents as they equip their children for a very successful school year.”

Nash says that it will be hard on families who depend on Tax Free Weekend for their purchases.

“For the families who rely on Tax Free Weekend to do their preparations for the school year and buy other supplies that they need, it’s going to hurt them,” said Nash. “It’s going to certainly cause them to have to re-think what they purchase and when they purchase it.”

Local residents like Laurie Buck are also outspoken on the end of the tax holiday.

“In view of the fact that the Republican House and Governor McCrory have lowered taxes for the rich, and the tax-free holiday was such a boon to families, I think it’s a huge mistake,” Buck says.

Chapel Hill residents like Paul Rowe say they believe the holiday helps people in the community.

“I would like to see that continued in the future. I think that’s good for a lot of different segments of the population, like students and low-income families,” Rowe says.

One Durham resident, John Winch, is very outspoken about the elimination of the tax holiday.

“Less taxes is better taxes,” Winch says. “I think it probably would stagnate the economy’s stimulus that we’re all looking to embrace.”

For more information on which items are exempt from taxes, click here.