Friday PM May 22nd, 2009

image of Energy Star Logo

During the three-day sales tax holiday May 23rd to the 25th, Texas shoppers get a break from state and local sales taxes when purchasing certain energy-efficient appliances bearing an Energy Star label.ξ R.J. DeSilva is with the Texas Comptroller's office.ξ

"You know, it's a way to give shoppers a break on the sales tax, and not having to pay the sales tax, and then, you know, that's an immediate benefit that you're going to see if you buy one of these Energy Star appliances.ξ And then, of course, the savings on the utility bills will be realized.ξ The fact that these appliances use less energy, you're going to see the benefits down the road in terms of lower energy costs on utility bills."ξ

The tax holiday applies to air conditioners priced less than $6,000, refrigerators under $2,000, ceiling fans, incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs, clothes washers, dishwashers, dehumidifiers and programmable thermostats.

"Last year, the sales tax savings for shoppers was about $2.3 million dollars, a combination of local and state sales tax.ξ So, and this year we expect it be about $3 million.ξ When you look at the overall picture of sales tax revenue, that's a very small amount, and ultimately, you're talking about savings for shoppers, (and) of course the ongoing savings in terms of reducing energy use."

The state says about $3 million will be saved by consumers during the event, which is patterned after the annual sales tax holiday on clothing, shoes and school supplies in mid-August.ξ

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.
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