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Tax free weekend leads to large tech sales in Martin County

38% of Martin County students will attend virtual school this fall
Posted at 6:44 PM, Aug 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-09 23:29:35-04

STUART, Fla. — An unprecedented start to the school year is leading to an unprecedented tax free shopping weekend.

"iPads are sold out, like gone," said Julien Garcon, a computer supervisor at Best Buy.

Students in Martin County are heading back to school Tuesday.

District officials said 38% of the 16,000 students have opted for virtual learning.

At the Best Buy in Stuart, Garcon said the need for laptops is at all-time high.

"I have a lot more chrome books going out than usual," said Garcon. "Those are the cheaper computers. People have to buy multiple for all their kids."

"There was one we looked at, but they said they don't have one here," said a customer identified only as Ryan, who was at Best Buy shopping for a laptop. "My son is going to be taking art classes. He does do a lot of the digital arts."

Ryan has two kids he said have opted in for virtual school in Martin County.

"I don't think it's as much a fear as it is a consistency," said Ryan. "The biggest thing we hear is that if there is a case that happens in the school, they're going to quarantine everybody and send you home. So instead of dealing with the back and forth, we're just going to start them at home and try to ride it out for awhile and see what happens."

On the store's tax exempt sheet are more than 30 items, including computers, headphones and web cameras.

"You're only really saving like this $70 or $80 on tax most of the time," said Garcon. "Right now, with everybody not working, it's definitely a pretty penny to save."

Garcon said people did visit his store last week but then decided to wait until tax free weekend to buy the more expensive items.

Aside from items included on the tax free list, Garcon said the demand for anything gaming-related has soared, because a lot of people are staying home.