Texans get sales tax break on energy-efficient, water-saving products

Sales tax holiday Saturday through Memorial Day

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter, Eddie Latigo - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - If mulching flower beds or upgrading your fridge is on your to-do list, you can save money this weekend as the state waives sales tax on a number of energy-efficient and water-saving products.

The sales tax holiday begins Saturday and continues through Memorial Day.

“If you’re on the fence and you need to upgrade some of those old and less-efficient items, this is a great weekend to do it,” said Stephanie Thomas, manager at the Home Depot on Sunset Road.

Adding to the incentive to shop, retailers are offering sales on many of the qualifying appliances and products.

Bigger-ticket items that qualify include clothes washers, dishwashers and refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less, as long as they bear the Energy Star label. The same goes for ceiling fans and lightbulbs.

For water-saving products such as toilets, showerheads and faucets, look for the WaterSense label or logo.

“You are not only going to save in the long run by being more water efficient. You save more now in not having to pay the sales tax,” Thomas said.

Other water-conserving products, such as mulch, plants and irrigation hoses, are also tax-exempt.

Shopper Kathy Kennedy likes the savings and the message.

“It certainly puts the emphasis on our environment and our water issue in our area,” she said. “When you touch their pocketbook, they’re much more interested in listening.”

The state estimates shoppers will save $12.6 million in sales tax over the three-day weekend.

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