Back in the stores

RAYMONDVILLE — It’s safe to say this year, the fifth for the Water-Efficient Products sales tax holiday, is going to be different than its predecessors.

Here at Jano’s Superstore, store manager Margaret Vento is just happy to be back to a semblance of normal – like being fully open and ready for customers.

“We were still open,” she said. “We cut the hours a little bit at the stores but we were here. Really slow, yes. We were basically just taking payments at the door. People would buy merchandise there through the window.

“We’re back,” she added with emphasis.

At this Jano’s store, appliances are hotter sellers than the furniture on display, Vento said.

And this is the weekend to buy.

Any Energy Star-labeled items are tax-free, things like air conditioners (under $6,000), refrigerators (under $2,000), ceiling fans, energy-efficient light bulbs, clothes and dishwaters, dehumidifiers and programmable thermostats.

Not on the list for a tax-free deal are water heaters, clothes dryers, stoves, attic fans or heat pumps.

Like most stores gearing up for Memorial Day weekend, the Jano’s here has some new rules, such as requiring customers wear face masks and continue to social distance on the premises.

“Even in these uncertain times, Texans can take advantage of this sales tax holiday to buy more energy-efficient items, support local businesses and save money,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. “You can practice social distancing and other precautionary measures when shopping in person or shop online. Qualifying products are tax free.”

Online ordering or ordering by phone or mail still will allow buyers to reap the benefits of the tax-free weekend. But be aware that shipping costs could boost an item above the dollar limit, and void the tax-free incentive.

Products displaying a WaterSense label or logo can be purchased tax-free for personal or business use. These items also include showerheads, bathroom sink faucets and accessories, toilets, urinals and landscape irrigation controls.

The sales tax holiday also applies to lawn and garden products that help conserve water out in the yard. Items qualifying for the exemption include soaker or drip-irrigation hoses, moisture controls for sprinkler or irrigation systems, mulch and plants, trees and grasses. These items can be purchased tax-free for residential use only.

For more information on the specifics of which items qualify and which do not, visit the comptroller’s website at

Qualifying Products

You can buy, rent or lease only the following Energy Star-labeled items tax-free:

• air conditioners (with a sales price of $6,000 or less)

• refrigerators (with a sales price of $2,000 or less)

• ceiling fans

• incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs

• clothes washers

• dishwashers

• dehumidifiers

• programmable thermostats

Non-Qualifying Products

Examples of items that do not qualify and are taxable, even if they are Energy Star-labeled, include:

• water heaters

• clothes dryers

• freezers

• stoves

• attic fans

• heat pumps

• wine refrigerators

• kegerators

• beverage chillers


The tax-free sale begins Saturdayand goes to midnight Monday (Memorial Day)

Online Purchases and Telephone Orders

Texans can maintain social distancing by buying appliances online, by telephone, mail or custom order in addition to in-store purchasing, all tax-free on qualifying items. Shipping charges may put an item over the limit to qualify, however.