The annual back-to-school tax holiday in New Mexico started Friday and will continue this weekend through midnight Sunday.

In Santa Fe, that means an 8.4375 percent discount at participating stores, where state and local gross receipts taxes are not being charged on certain assorted items, most associated with students and school.

“Tax holiday” is a bit of a misnomer for the event because there are price limits on items that qualify for tax-free shopping. Some of the eligible items include the following:

  • Clothing and shoes priced at less than $100.
  • Computers priced under $1,000.
  • Computer hardware priced under $500.
  • School supplies under $30 each.
  • Book bags, backpacks, maps and globes less than $100 per item.
  • Handheld calculators less than $200 per item.

“There are plenty of exceptions, limitations and qualifications, so I would especially encourage small-business owners, who don’t have the accounting staffs big businesses do, to examine the department’s list of taxable and nontaxable items before making any assumptions,” said Jason Espinoza, New Mexico state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, in a news release.

New Mexico is one of 17 states with a tax holiday that comes ahead of the new school year and the only Western state to offer such a benefit. New Mexico added a tax holiday in 2005.

The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department estimates shoppers save about $4 million during the tax-free holiday weekend.

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