Portales parents prepare for tax holiday

By Tonya Fennell: Freedom Newspapers

Portales mother Janie Olguin said she plans to take advantage of New Mexico’s second annual sales tax holiday this weekend and buy her 4-year-old daughter, Jeiden Arellano, school supplies and clothing. Jeiden will be attending Brown Early Childhood Center.

“It sounds like it’s going to be a busy weekend. Everyone is going to be out,” Olguin said. “You don’t spend that much on tax, but every little bit you save is good.”

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, New Mexico residents can shop for clothing, footwear and school supplies tax exempt. The sale will continue until midnight on Sunday.

Nontaxable items include clothing and footwear of $100 or less and school supplies. Computers priced at $1,000 and below and related items such as printers and monitors priced at $500 and below will also be nontaxable.

In Roosevelt County shoppers can save as much as 7.625 percent.
North Plains Mall has held an annual back-to-school shopping event for more than six years to stay competitive with a similar weekend in Texas. The Texas tax holiday coincides with New Mexico’s this year.

Gov. Bill Richardson said he pushed for the tax holiday to help families cut back-to-school costs and spur more retail activity in New Mexico.

“I encourage all New Mexicans to take advantage of this year’s back-to-school holiday,” Richardson said. “Families can save on school clothes and notebooks. Businesses can save on computers and office supplies, and the general public can save money on any number of items.”

According to Freedom Newspaper’s archives, the tax holiday comprises 3 percent of annual sales for merchants at the North Plains Mall and is one of the biggest shopping weekends in the area.

Consuelo Pascual, manager of Dillard’s, said the tax holiday is highly anticipated because it marks the beginning of school. Pascual said the department store has been busy slashing prices for special sales and scheduling additional employees to assist shoppers.

“People shouldn’t have to wait in line,” Pascual said.

PNT writer Bryant Million contributed to this report.