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May 242013
 May 24, 2013  Posted by  Expired
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Most shoppers think of a sales-tax holiday as the time during the summer when states help parents save money on back-to-school shopping by temporarily dropping state sales tax.

Turns out there are other times and other reasons for sales-tax holidays.

Starting in February, a handful of states have sales-tax holidays specifically for home goods, including energy-efficient appliances and supplies to help prepare your house for a storm.

Here are sales-tax holiday dates, including three this weekend, that focus on items for the home:

May 25-26, 2013, Louisiana

Hurricane season doesn’t start officially until June 1, but the state of Louisiana wants to make sure that its residents are prepared, so it has this two-day sales tax holiday for hurricane preparedness gear. Residents don’t pay sales tax on the first $1,500 spent on the following:

  • Portable, self-powered light source
  • Portable, self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio
  • Tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting
  • Ground anchor system or tie-down kit
  • Gas or diesel fuel tank
  • AAA-cell, AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries
  • Cellular phone batteries and cellular phone chargers
  • Non-electric food storage cooler
  • Portable generator used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage
  • “Storm shutter device” as defined in the Act
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Blue ice product

May 25-27, 2013, Texas
Over Memorial Day weekend, Texas residents can save big (just like the state of Texas) on certain energy-efficient appliances by not having to pay state sales tax or use tax. Here are the items that qualify to be exempt from tax and any spending limits that apply:

  • Air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less
  • Refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less
  • Ceiling fans
  • Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs
  • Clothes washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Dehumidifiers

If you live in Texas and want to take advantage of this sales-tax holiday, be sure to visit this Texas state government page to get details on how shoppers who buy via catalog sales, the Internet or layaway plans can also save.

May 25-31, 2013, Virginia
Like Louisiana, the Commonwealth of Virginia would like to ensure its residents are ready for hurricane season – or any other emergency – and offers a six-day sales-tax holiday starting Memorial Day weekend. Focusing on hurricane and emergency preparedness equipment, the basic shopping guidelines include that portable generators must be priced at $1,000 or less, and other eligible items must be priced at $60 or less each to be exempt from sales tax.

Oct. 11-14, 2013, Virginia
This is the second of Virginia’s sales-tax holidays that involve products for the home. This time around it rewards residents who buy Energy Star-rated products and what the Commonwealth calls “WaterSense Qualified Products.” Everything bought must come in under $2,500 and be purchased for home use only – sorry, businesses. Exempt items include:

  • Air conditioners
  • Bathroom sink faucets
  • Ceiling fans
  • Clothes washers
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Dishwashers
  • Faucet accessories
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Refrigerators
  • Toilets

Nov. 1-3, 2013, North Carolina
Here is how the North Carolina’s Department of Revenue describes its Energy Star sales-tax holiday that occurs the first week of November: “Clothes washers, freezers, refrigerators, central air conditioners, room air conditioners, air-source heat pumps, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers and programmable thermostats will be exempt from state and local sales and use tax when purchased during the sales-tax holiday period.”

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Leah Ingram

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