By Eric Norwood Jr.
PNT staff writer
Wallets were unfolding and cash registers were overworked as tax free weekend hit Portales.
School supplies under $15, computers under $1,000, computer equipment under $500, and clothes and shoes under $100 are all tax free throughout New Mexico through today.
Many Portales residents took advantage of the tax break Saturday.
“We’ve definitely seen a rise in sales this weekend”, says Beall’s manager Melissa Bonem. “Shoes, denim, juniors and misses are all doing really well right now.”
Michelle Ainsworth was buying shoes at Beall’s for all of her children.
“I think we’ve got five or six pairs here,” said Ainsworth, as she helped her daughter Emma try on a pair.
As the beginning of school rolls around, shoppers were eager to take advantage of the taxman’s 72-hour grace period.
“We need jeans. We have six kids so we need a lot of jeans,” said Isela Romero, who was shopping with her husband Albert.
Shoppers of all ages were out picking up items, in preparation for school. College students Brian Fajardo, 22, of Roswell, and Mark Mitchelson, 22, of Buckeye, Ariz., were shopping for school supplies at Walmart and didn’t even know this was tax free weekend.
“I’ll probably get more stuff now,” said Mitchelson.
According to Walmart assistant manager Robin Nations, store traffic was up.
“We’ve seen a big increase in customers. Mostly back to school stuff, but people are coming to get their electronics to take advantage of the great deals.”
Laurie Kaiser, a teacher at Lindsey Steiner Elementary School, was getting school supplies and a printer from Walmart.
“I got the printer for my classroom because mine broke,” said Kaiser, who teaches special education. “I actually got the school supplies to donate outside.”
Kaiser was referring to the Stuff the Bus event taking place outside of Walmart. The store in partnership with the United Way of Eastern New Mexico was collecting donations for school supplies.
“All of the supplies donated here will be given straight to Portales Municipal Schools,” said Erinn Burch, executive director of the United Way of Eastern New Mexico.