Shoppers take advantage of tax-free weekend

By Tony Gutierrez: Freedom Newspapers

Eastern New Mexico residents filed into stores Friday and Saturday to take advantage of the state’s third annual tax-free holiday.

The weekend provides a chance for New Mexicans to buy school supplies for less than $15, clothing (including shoes, but excluding specialty items such as football pads) less than $100, computers less than $1,000 and computer accessories less than $500 without any sales tax. The weekend lasts through today.

Paul Encinias, assistant manager for Portales’ Wal-Mart electronics department, said customers were buying school-related accessories such as calculators, ink and computer paper.

D’Lyn Ford of Portales bought school supplies at Wal-Mart Saturday for her third-grade daughter. She said she’ll probably shop for clothes today.

With an entourage of five children, Jerry and Victoria Mendez of Clovis spent Saturday buying school supplies and clothes.
Deirdre Guthals took her two children to buy shoes and planned to stop by North Plains Mall later in the day for school supplies.

“We were really busy Friday,” said Halley Manley, an employee at Dayhoff’s Shoe Outlet in Clovis. “The majority of business is tennis shoes for back-to-school. We’ve sold a lot of women’s shoes for junior high and high school.”

Manley said normal daily sales for the store is $400, but on Friday the store racked up sales of $1,063, which she credits to the tax-free weekend.

“It’s great, I don’t have to pay taxes,” said Laura Baros, who bought clothes and supplies for her grandson, Martin. “It’s not that much, but every penny adds up.”

“We had a good weekend,” said Randy Dayhoff, owner of Dayhoff’s and Randy’s Shoes. “It helped because we had a jump on the Texas tax-free weekend.”

Texas will have its tax-free weekend Aug. 17-19.