An annual tradition in many states, is the sales tax holiday for clothing and school supplies, most often held in August. Some states also offer other tax holidays – for hurricane supplies, energy-efficient appliances, and even firearms. Sixteen states currently have “Back-to-School” holidays scheduled for this year. Whether a sales tax holiday is good tax policy has been the subject of debate.
The first tax holiday of the year will be held in Maryland, from February 16-18, on EnergyStar appliances.Missouri will hold a similar holiday in April,Texas in May,Virginia in October, andNorth Carolina in November.
The most unique tax holiday is the annual firearms tax holiday held inLouisiana every September.
Energy Star Holidays
The ENERGY STAR label was established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy. The label makes it easier for consumers to identify energy-efficient products that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, and comfort.
Maryland ’s tax holiday for energy-efficient appliances, Shop Maryland Energy, will take place February 16-18, and is typical of these holidays. The following types of items are exempt:
The above items are only exempt if they have been designated as meeting or exceeding the applicable ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Severe Weather Preparedness Holidays
The first state to hold a severe weather preparedness holiday in 2013, is Alabama , from February 22-24. These holidays are aimed at the type of supplies taxpayers need to purchase to protect their homes from hurricanes. The following types of items are exempt from tax during the holiday period, if they cost $60 or less:
In addition, any potable power generator or power cords costing less than $1,000 are also exempt.
For additional information on state sales and use tax holidays, see Bloomberg BNA’s Sales and Use Tax Navigator at 10.3.
By Nancy Emison
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