2nd Annual Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday Set To Aid Virginia Families and Retailers

Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) wishes to remind citizens of the upcoming Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday, to be held Friday, October 10 through Monday, October 13, 2008. The weekend of sales tax-free purchases on Energy Star-rated products priced at $2,500 or less per item became law due to HB 1678, co-sponsored by Delegate Peace, overwhelmingly passed by the General Assembly during the 2007 session and was signed into law by the Governor. “This weekend offers a great incentive for Virginians to consider energy efficient purchases. Reducing energy consumption is one part of our national goal for energy independence,” said Peace. “Consumers have one more opportunity in addition to the Back to School sales tax holiday to make buying decisions that positively impact their individual lives in addition to stimulating economic investment. This approach is another successful example of a good policy initiated by General Assembly Republicans that provides real, tangible benefits to Virginians.”

Based on the success of the Republican initiated Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, lawmakers enacted the Energy Star tax break to encourage the purchase of these energy efficient products. To qualify as an Energy Star product, the item must meet strict guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. When compared to their traditional counterparts, Energy Star products use approximately 30% less energy. In 2006, Republicans also enacted a 20% deduction on income taxes on purchases of certain energy efficient appliances as part of SB 262, patroned by Senator Frank W. Wagner (R-Virginia Beach).

”Virginians making this choice may also save money each month on their gas and electricity bills by consuming less energy. A win-win exists because we help reduce pollution impacts on our air and water.”

Individual retailers may choose to pay the sales tax themselves on any nonexempt items during the holiday, passing the savings on to their customers. Online purchases and used Energy Star products also qualify for the tax-free holiday. Additional information on the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday is online from the Virginia Department of Taxation at http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=EnergyStarQualifiedProductsHoliday