With energy prices on the rise and Georgia still in the middle of a historic dry spell, state lawmakers think they've found part of a solution: a sales-tax holiday.
The sales-tax holiday started out a year ago as a weekend exemption for products with the Energy Star designation, making it easier for consumers to buy efficient appliances and perhaps help control energy prices.
"One way to address the problem is by purchasing energy-efficient appliances," House Natural Resources and Environment Chairwoman Lynn Smith, R-Newnan, said at an event Tuesday touting the tax break.
This year, the General Assembly added a provision extending the tax break to some water-saving products.
"We want to make sure that the Energy Star holiday becomes as popular as the back-to-school sales-tax holiday in August," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock.
ABOUT THE HOLIDAY
The holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and runs through midnight Sunday. It provides a break from all state and local sales taxes on the products covered by the exemption, though it is limited to products priced at $1,500 or less. Higher than that, and you have to pay the full sales tax.
The revenue lost on all state sales-tax holidays, including the one for school supplies, comes to $8.5 million for local governments and $12.6 million for the state, according to a report by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, an Atlanta think tank.
An established list of products with the Energy Star or WaterSense designation are eligible for the exemption. According to the Georgia Department of Revenue, they include:
- For the energy tax break, air conditioners, ceiling fans, fluorescent light bulbs, clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, doors and windows, among other items
- For the water tax break, bathroom sink faucets, shower heads, toilets and urinals, among other items
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To find out more about the holiday and get a complete list of products available for exemption, go to www.dor.ga.gov/salestax/holiday/energy_holiday.aspx or www.gefa.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=345, or contact the Department of Revenue's Taxpayer Services Division at (404) 417-6601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Morris News Service