Weekend's tax holiday expected to save consumers $3 million

Do you need a new air conditioner, refrigerator, clothes washer or some other energy-consuming household item?

If so, you can benefit from the upcoming sales tax holiday over the Memorial Day weekend by buying energy-efficient products with the Energy Star designation granted by the federal government.

The exemption is on both state and local sales taxes. In Fort Worth, for example, the combined sales tax is 8.25 cents per $1 of goods purchased (a state tax of 6.25 cents and local tax of 2 cents). The tax holiday could save you $82.50 on a $1,000 purchase.

The tax holiday runs from 12:01 a.m. Saturday through 11:59 p.m. Monday.

Products that qualify are:

air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less

refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less

ceiling fans

incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs

clothes washers and dishwashers


programmable thermostats.

"In tough economic times, this is a great way for Texans to be wise stewards, both of their bank accounts and of our limited energy resources," said state Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, author of the original legislation creating the sales tax holiday.

The state comptroller's office estimates that the tax holiday will save consumers $3 million on purchases of about $35 million.

Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department for products that meet energy-efficiency guidelines.

JACK Z. SMITH, 817-390-7724