Tax-free weekend took Elena Vargas and her family by surprise.
“This was a total mistake,” said Vargas, who came from Spearman to Amarillo with her husband and teenagers to shop for school clothes. “It’s kind of crowded, the lines were kind of long but they’re doing a good job of trying to move them.”
The statewide tax holiday is a week later than usual, bumping up against the early start date of Wednesday for most Amarillo school districts. During tax-free weekend, which continues today, most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced $100 or less are exempt from sales tax. That saves shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend during the weekend.
With large crowds expected at Amarillo retail locations, the Amarillo Police Department said it would have extra officers on patrol and sent out a notice reminding residents to be vigilant when entering or exiting vehicles in parking lots and to not leave items in plain sight.
Errin Shrout said he and his wife waited to take their four kids back to school shopping “to save a little bit of money.”
“It’s not really hard to wait for this weekend,” he said. “We were able to save money up, to save more money this weekend.”
Shrout said he didn’t know how much the group from Guymon, Okla., saved, but he said it’s worth it.
Charity Klein said it was a coincidence she brought her four children to shop for school clothes this weekend.
“It was just the first weekend we had available and were not doing anything,” she said. “I didn’t come out specifically because it was tax-free weekend. We buy things as we go during the summer.”
Robin Patterson brought her four children from Dumas to shop and was surprised to learn it was tax-free weekend.
“We just got back from vacation two weeks ago so I guess I was waiting on my paycheck to hit,” she said.
Clothing was among the most popular last minute items being purchased around Amarillo.
Vargas said she bought school supplies early on but dropped the ball when it came to outfitting her teens for the first day of school.
“On the first day, they’re going to look really good, but the rest of the time, I don’t know,” she said laughing.