Shoppers take advantage of tax-free weekend in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A lot of people in New Mexico are taking advantage of the tax-free weekend. It’s an opportunity to pick up some last-minute items.

Elijah Long and his family braved the packed parking lots for back-to-school shopping.

“It’s been hectic,” said Elijah. “When we went in, there’s a bunch of people here. It’s nothing like the town we’re from. But it’s great to get a lot of selection, especially at these prices.” 

For the Long family, the savings justified a trip to Albuquerque from Farmington. 

“It helps a lot as a family of four that we have, you know, we buy a lot of stuff. And there’s like, a lot of other things that goes into you know, just shopping with our family. So that tax discount really helps,” said Santiago Long. 

But with most school districts already back in session, why is the tax-free weekend after school starts? 

KOB 4 asked the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department.  

“Well the back-to-school tax-free weekend is established by statute and the statute calls for it to be the first weekend in August. So that’s why it is when it is, because that is how the Legislature set it up,” said Charlie Moore, a communication director for the New Mexico Tax & Revenue Department.

House Bill 130 now requires schools to have 180 instructional days in a school year. Sponsors of the bill said school districts themselves decide when to add days, meaning it’s up to them to start earlier.  

But there were still tons of people taking advantage of the tax-free holiday even if it wasn’t for back-to-school shopping. 

“It’s a good deal for me,” said Riggs Poblet, a tax-free shopper. “The taxes saved here means a lot and can do so much with the other expenses that really need to do. So, it’s really been helpful.”

Whether it’s new school clothes or just wanting to maximize their budget, people were out shopping tax-free on Saturday afternoon. 

“We run through a lot of clothes, obviously being athletes, so it’s definitely great to just add on to more and more and more,” said Elijah. 

The tax-free weekend in New Mexico runs until Sunday at midnight.