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Small Business Saturday also is new N.M. tax holiday

Shop small on Small Business Saturday_American Express

Have you stopped by your locally-owned shops today to show some Small Business Saturday support?

This specially designated holiday shopping day was initiated by a major credit card, American Express, in 2010 as a way to encourage shoppers to encourage Black Friday bargain hunters to expand their buying to small, local retailers.

The next year the Shop Small movement had gained enough momentum to receive boosts from all 50 state and many local officials, as well as nationally. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day.

And this year, New Mexico lawmakers have gone even further to boost small businesses.

The Land of Enchantment has designated Small Businesses Saturday a tax holiday.

One-day tax break for specific shopping: This new tax holiday means that customers today of New Mexico's small local businesses won't have to pay state gross receipts taxes, which essentially is the state's version of sales tax.

The tax break, which is estimated to save consumers around $3 million, comes via a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by N.M. House Majority Whip Doreen Gallegos (D-Las Cruces) and Sen. Steven Neville (R-Aztec). The state's Republican Gov. Susana Martinez signed it into law back in March.

While the timing is novel, today's tax relief comes with restrictions similar to the myriad other state sales tax holidays across the county

First, only certain firms can participate. Specifically, the retailer's primary place of business must be New Mexico based.

Also, the companies cannot have more than 10 employees. And when New Mexico says local it means it. Franchises, even ones with 10 or fewer employees, cannot offer the tax relief.

Then there's the price limit on qualifying sales. The items must be for persona, not business use, and cost less than $500.

Tax-free shopping list: You also need to keep an eye on what you can buy. Eligible tax-free purchases include:

  • clothing or footwear,
  • accessories, including jewelry, handbags, book bags, backpacks, luggage, wallets, watches and similar items to be worn or carried,
  • sporting goods and camping equipment,
  • tools used for home improvement, gardening and automotive maintenance and repair,
  • books, journals, paper, writing instruments, art supplies, greeting cards and postcards,
  • works of art, including any painting, drawing, print, photograph, sculpture, pottery or ceramics, carving, textile, basketry, artifact, natural specimen, rare book, authors' papers, objects of historical or technical interest or other article of intrinsic cultural value,
  • floral arrangements and indoor plants,
  • cosmetics and personal grooming items,
  • musical instruments,
  • cookware and small home appliances for residential use,
  • bedding, towels and bath accessories,
  • furniture,
  • toys or games clearly intended and designed to be used by children or families in play,
  • video games or video game consoles and any associated accessories,
  • home electronics such as computers, phones, tablets, stereo equipment and related electronics accessories.

So basically, just about anything you might want or that's on someone's Santa wish list is tax-free today.

Small Business Saturday Shop Small graphic_American Express

One day in 2018 and 2019: As for timing, the holiday started at 12:01 a.m. today and runs until midnight.

If you didn't get in on the event as early as you'd hoped today, no worries. Mark your calendar for the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2019. The Small Businesses Saturday tax holiday is authorized for 2019, too.

To continue it beyond that, though, New Mexico lawmakers will have to renew the bill. If you like the event, give a shout out to Gallegos, Neville and Martinez. The trio already gets the today's Saturday Shout Out from the ol' blog.

You also might find these items of interest:

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