HARLINGEN — Like all major holidays now, Memorial Day comes with big sales events as retailers target consumers enjoying an extra day or two off work.
Unlike most of those, however, this holiday weekend offers potentially significant tax breaks for people buying energy- and water-efficient appliances and other products.
Customers taking advantage of the state’s Energy Star and Water-Efficient Products sales tax holiday will save an estimated $12.6 million in sales taxes by purchasing this weekend, the Texas Comptroller’s Office claims.
The weekend is one of the tax-free weekends the state offers Texas consumers. Others include last month’s tax-free weekend for emergency supplies, and another arrives in the fall for school supplies.
“We actually started our sale on May 16, and our Memorial Day sale is still going to keep going through June 5,” said Irma M. Garcia, general manager at Jano’s Furniture Showrooms in Harlingen and Raymondville.
As Garcia points out, buying a $1,000 refrigerator could mean significant savings when you lop off the sales tax.
“The sales tax rate is 8.25 percent, so you’re going to save about 80 bucks,” she said.
This is the fourth year for the energy- and water-saving products sales tax weekend. Any products displaying a Water Sense label or logo can be purchased tax-free for personal or business use. These include showerheads, bathroom sink faucets and accessories, toilets, urinals and landscape irrigation controls.
The sales tax holiday also goes outdoors, too. Lawn and garden products that help conserve water include soaker or drip-irrigation hoses, moisture controls for a sprinkler or irrigation system, mulch, plants, trees and grasses are all tax-free when purchase for residential use.
There isn’t any limit to the number of water-efficient or water-conserving products you can purchase tax-free.
But there are some price limits. Certain energy-efficient products displaying the Energy Star logo can be purchased tax-free, including air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less, refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less, ceiling fans, some light bulbs, dishwashers, dehumidifiers and washing machines, the Comptroller’s Office says.
The Water-Efficient products list can be found here:
The Energy Star products list can be found here:
Garcia said people are increasingly seeking out energy- and water-efficient appliances because, as they upgrade anyway as machines wear out, they know there is a big financial incentive to buy these green products.
“People want it to be energy- and water-efficient, because if it is, they’re going to save on their electricity bill or their water bill, and that just goes a long way once you start calculating by the month and you see how much money you save,” she said.
Jano’s is locally owned and does things a little differently. Garcia said unlike some of the big companies in town which sell appliances, Jano’s still has a service department right in the store and has technicians who do repairs and warranty work, too.
“We still do things the old-fashioned way,” Garcia said.
Energy Star products list
Water-efficient products list
Energy, water savings
Appliance Energy Water
Central Air 8 percent
Room Air 10 percent
Refrigerator 9 percent
Ceiling Fans 40 percent
Compact Fl. Bulbs 70 percent
Clothes Washer 25 percent 33 percent
Dishwasher 12 percent 30 percent
Dehumidifier 30 percent
Source: Energy Star, Water Sense products, U.S. Department of Energy/EPA