A break from the taxman

By Christina Calloway

PNT senior writer

ccalloway@pntonline.com

Local store owners are hoping to have a successful tax-free weekend despite U.S. 70 construction limiting access to their downtown businesses.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune Tori Christiansen, store manager of Hot Threads on Main Avenue, prices jewelry on Thursday, in preparation for New Mexico’s tax-free weekend.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune
Tori Christiansen, store manager of Hot Threads on Main Avenue, prices jewelry on Thursday, in preparation for New Mexico’s tax-free weekend.

During a weekend that usually brings in a healthy amount of foot traffic to area stores, store owners fear the lack of access and parking will affect sales. Other stores that aren’t located in the downtown area are preparing for large back-to-school crowds.

Beginning today and ending Sunday, the state suspends collection of gross receipts tax on sales for qualifying items, which includes school-related items such as clothing, laptops and supplies, according to the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.

“We’ll probably sell a lot of dresses, purses and jeans,” Hot Threads Manager Tori Christiansen said.

She expects to see the beginning of a month of back-to-school shoppers this weekend.

“When it starts, they come like crazy, from middle school to college-aged people,” Christiansen said.

Buz Goodson, owner of Bar G Western and Casual Wear, says it’s not just back-to-school season, it’s fair season for Roosevelt County.

Since there is no access to the front of his business, Goodson said customers can access the business from the back.

“It’s just hard to drive around and find a parking place but we have great deals,” Goodson said. “You have to go two blocks out of your way just to get to where you want to go.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune Alicia Ceniceros, an employee of Big League Sports in downtown Portales, irons logos onto athletic shirts for Eastern New Mexico University.

Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune
Alicia Ceniceros, an employee of Big League Sports in downtown Portales, irons logos onto athletic shirts for Eastern New Mexico University.

Walmart Assistant Manager Brad Powell predicts there will be a lot of college students shopping this weekend.

“Obviously everybody wants to save money on the highest dollar things, mostly we’re looking at computers,” Powell said. “They go pretty quickly, we have a college here.”

He says students will also be furnishing dorm rooms and purchasing school supplies.

“It’s a big weekend all around. We’re happy to put good products in the hands of people who need them, it’s a win-win situation,” Powell said.

New Mexico’s tax free weekend applies to the following items:

  • All clothing and shoes under $100
  • School supplies under $15
  • Computers under $1,000
  • Computer equipment under $500

Source: www.tax.newmexico.gov

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