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Which States Offer Sales Tax Holiday for Energy-Efficiency, Hurricane Products?

A handful of states let you skip the sales tax when you buy energy-efficient appliances or hurricane-preparation supplies during tax holiday periods.

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Time your home energy-efficiency improvements or hurricane preparation purchases right and you can avoid paying state sales tax. At least a half-dozen states offer tax breaks to home owners who purchase energy-efficient appliances, water-efficient products, or hurricane preparation supplies.

Alabama’s sales tax holiday

When: Feb. 22-24

What: Exempts hurricane preparedness products from sales tax. You can spend up to $1,000 on a single purchase of generators and power cords and buy an unlimited number of supplies costing up to $60 each, such as batteries, tarps, cell phone chargers, flashlights, weather radios, plywood to cover windows, or smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.

Georgia’s sales tax holiday

When: Typically held in October

What: In 2012, exempted energy- and water-efficient products that cost $1,500 or less from its 7% sales tax. That includes a dishwasher, clothes washer, air conditioner, ceiling fan, CFL bulb, dehumidifier, programmable thermostat, refrigerator, door, or window that meets Energy Star or WaterSense standards.

Louisiana’s sales tax holiday

When: Last Saturday and Sunday of each May and first consecutive Friday and Saturday each August.

What: The May holiday lets you skip the state’s sales tax on the first $1,500 in purchases on hurricane preparation items like portable generators, storm shutters, batteries, weather-band radios, and tie-down kits. The August tax holiday lets you skip the state’s 4% sales tax on the first $2,500 in purchases on individual items of “tangible personal property not for business use.” A TPP is literally something you can touch and take. And it’s not just energy-efficient appliances and hurricane prep, but almost anything you’d buy for your home.

Maryland’s tax-free weekend

When: Feb. 16-18, 2013 

What: Gives shoppers a break on the state’s 6% tax when they buy Energy Star products, like air conditioners, clothes washers, furnaces, heat pumps, boilers, solar water heaters (tax-exempt at all times now), refrigerators, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostats, and CFL bulbs. 

Missouri’s green sales tax holiday

When: Starts April 19-25 each year.

What: Exempts state sales tax (4.225%) on Energy Star appliances costing up to $1,500 each. To qualify, appliances, which can include clothes washers, water heaters, dishwashers, air conditioners, furnaces, refrigerators, freezers, heat pumps, and conventional ovens and stoves, must have an Energy Star rating.

North Carolina’s Energy Star sales tax holiday

When: The first Friday in November through the following Sunday.

What: Energy Star appliances, including clothes washers, freezers, refrigerators, central air conditioners, room air conditioners, airsource heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, ceiling fans, and dehumidifiers.

Texas’ Energy Star sales tax holiday

When: Saturday before Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.

What: A break from state and local sales taxes and use taxes (which range from 6.25%-8.25%) on energy-efficient products, including air conditioners, refrigerators, ceiling fans, incandescent and CFL bulbs, clothes washers, dehumidifiers, and programmable thermostats.

Virginia’s hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday

When: May 25-31 every year

What: Exempts hurricane preparedness products. You can spend up to $1,000 for generators and power cables and buy an unlimited number of supplies costing up to $60 each like batteries, tarps, cell phone chargers, flashlights, weather radios, storm shutters, or smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.

Virginia’s tax holiday for Energy Star and WaterSense-qualified products

When: Friday before the second Monday of October.

What: Certain Energy Star- and WaterSense-qualified items purchased for non-commercial use, costing $2,500 or less, including dishwashers, clothes washers, refrigerators, air conditioners, ceiling fans, CFLs, bathroom sink faucets, faucet accessories, and toilets.

Would you put off buying a new appliance or fixture until you can save the sales tax?

Dona-DeZube Dona DeZube

has been writing about real estate for more than two decades. She lives in a suburban Baltimore Midcentury modest home on a 3-acre lot shared with possums, raccoons, foxes, a herd of deer, and her blue-tick hound. Follow Dona on Google+.

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