News Column

Retailers Get Ready for Tax-free Weekend

August 2, 2013

Chuck Slothower

New Mexico's annual back-to-school gross receipts tax holiday begins today and continues through Sunday, giving families a chance to buy certain items tax-free.

The tax-free weekend was established by the Legislature in 2005 and has become a popular time for parents to get everything their kids need for the school year.

For retailers that sell back-to-school goods, it's a key weekend, ranking in importance with Black Friday and the weekends leading up to Christmas.

"They definitely gear up for it," said Audra Winters, Farmington Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. "They offer additional promotions in addition to the tax-free (holiday) to try to get people in the doors."

Stores such as Target and Best Buy have been preparing for the weekend.

"We stock extra items," said Michelle Albright, a Target manager. "We have extra cashiers coming in, we have extra floor staff to make sure people can get what they need and get out quickly."

Computers and calculators will be popular items, along with traditional school supplies.

"A lot of it's backpacks, paper, notebooks -- the standards," Albright said. "We'll go through a lot of clothes, too, shoes and clothes."

At Best Buy, most of the extra customer

traffic is for tablet and laptop computers. The store will have extra employees on duty and stock on hand.

"We get a lot of traffic this weekend," said Thomas Herndon, Best Buy general manager. "It's easily as busy as our December holiday."

Items that are not taxed include:

- clothing or shoes costing less than $100.

- computers, including desktop, laptop, notebook and tablet models, priced at less than $1,000.

- backpacks and book bags.

- typical classroom supplies such as calculators, notebooks, writing instruments, etc.

Gross receipts tax is still levied on other items and services.

Chuck Slothower covers business for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4638 and cslothower@daily-times.com. Follow him @Dtchuck on Twitter.

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(c)2013 The Daily Times (Farmington, N.M.)

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Source: Copyright Daily Times (Farmington, NM) 2013


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