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Weekend tax break on energy saving appliances

By Lee Barnes
lbarnes@salisburypost.com
If you’re thinking about replacing any of your household appliances, don’t think it about it too long.
This weekend is the state’s second annual sales tax holiday on energy-efficient appliances.
Its official title is the Energy Star Tax-Free Holiday. It begins today and runs through Sunday.
Any Energy Star-designated appliances purchased this weekend will be tax-free. That means that if you spend $800 for an energy-efficient washing machine, you’re going to save $62. Add to that the $50 that the typical energy-efficient washer saves on your energy bill each year.
The program applies to Energy Star-qualified products including clothes washers, refrigerators, freezers, programmable thermostats, ceiling fans, room air conditioners, dehumidifiers and even some light bulbs and ceiling fans. Just look for the Energy Star label.
Fun fact to know: If you want to do your appliance-shopping without leaving Rowan County, your options are two: Lowe’s and Queen City. Smaller independent appliance stores have gone the way of the Oldsmobile.
Lowe’s manager Tim Howard says that even in its inaugural year, the program was a success.
“It was very popular with our customers last year, and we’re looking to exceed those numbers this year,” he said.
David Lomax, manager of Queen City Audio-Video-Appliances, said the program boosted sales at his store last year, and he’s looking for more of the same this weekend.
“We’ve already had quite a bit of people calling and coming in,” he said.
The state Department of Revenue has a few stipulations for going green and tax-free:
– The appliances have to be ordered for immediate delivery, even if delivery is a bit later. Customers asking for a delayed delivery won’t get the tax discount.
– If the appliance is back-ordered, it still qualifies ó as long as you buy it this weekend.
– Appliance rentals don’t count.
– Businesses don’t get the tax break, and that includes contractors who will be installing the appliances for customers.
Think of it as sort of an appliance version of the Cash for Clunkers car program, except that you don’t have to turn in your old appliance to get the tax break.
Statewide, some retailers said that last year’s Energy Star weekend didn’t do particularly well because potential customers never got the message.
You, potential customer, have been duly informed.

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