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Back-to-School Savings Abound During New Mexico Tax-free Weekend

New Mexico shoppers save about $4 million during the annual tax-free holiday weekend, according to the state's Taxation and Revenue Department. (Pixabay)
New Mexico shoppers save about $4 million during the annual tax-free holiday weekend, according to the state's Taxation and Revenue Department. (Pixabay)
August 2, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico's annual sales-tax holiday starts today, which means families can save a little money as they stock up on clothing and school supplies, including computers.

New Mexico is one of 16 states that offer a sales-tax holiday, waiving the 5% tax on qualifying items.

Reilly White, an associate professor of finance at the University of New Mexico, says depending on how much they spend, lower-income families can save a significant sum on essential items.

"If you look at a 5% sales-tax holiday in New Mexico, that means that these consumers are saving anywhere from $40 to $80 on their back-to-school shopping, and I think that's real money for a lot of New Mexico families," says White.

About 340,000 New Mexico students will return to the classroom on Aug. 12.

The National Retail Association estimates on average, a household will spend somewhere close to $700 on back-to-school supplies for Kindergarten through 12th-grade students, and $1,000 for a college student. That's an increase of $150 from a decade ago.

Many low-income students aren't able to purchase the required school supplies, so some towns across the state, including Albuquerque, are encouraging people to buy extra and donate them to school-supply drives for needy families.

White says getting kids ready for school again can be a real hit on the average family's budget.

"I fully encourage people to go out and buy school supplies, not only for their children but also to donate them as well," says White. “I think we have a lot of students in need, particularly in New Mexico."

The tax holiday goes into effect at midnight and ends Sunday at midnight. A full list of qualifying items is online on the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department website, tax.newmexico.gov.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - NM