Shoppers get break on tax-free weekend

By Tony Gutierrez and MIckey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers

New Mexico will have its third annual tax-free weekend Friday through Sunday. The state-mandated holiday is meant to coincide with students returning to schools.

Tax-exempt items include school supplies less than $15, clothing less than $100, computers less than $1,000 and computer accessories less than $500, according to a press release from the state Taxation and Revenue Department.

“It was passed by the legislature for New Mexicans to get school supplies,” said David Harwell, the department’s public information officer. “Texas has been doing this for a long time and it was (created in New Mexico) in response to people crossing over into Texas. They wanted to keep the revenue here.”

While only certain items are non-taxable over the weekend, several stores in Clovis plan to sell everything tax-free to make things easier and will pay the difference.

“A belt is not taxable, but a buckle is, so we just do it storewide,” said Joe Rhodes, owner of Joe’s Boot Shop. “It’s easier for the customer, they don’t have to say, ‘How much is this? Is this tax-free?’”

Rhodes said he will do the same thing during Texas’s tax-free weekend Aug. 17-19 because he gets customers from Texas as well.

“I just think it’s a wonderful opportunity for the economy of the area and the customers of the area and we get a lot of customers from Texas, too,” said Kathy Smith, an English teacher at Clovis High School.

Smith said she usually takes advantage to buy school supplies such as index cards, notebooks, notebook paper, pens and pencils. Smith also said she gives money to her grandchildren for tax-free shopping.

“Even though you’re not in school, it still applies to the working citizens,” said Dorothy Atkins of Clovis. “When you spend $100 on shoes, tax-free adds up quite a bit.”