Wake Forest, NC— This weekend may be the last time consumers can forego paying North Carolina sales tax on purchases of certain Energy Star-qualified appliances during the popular Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday.
Products exempt during the holiday, which begins at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, November 1, and runs until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 3, include Energy Star-qualified clothes washers, freezers, refrigerators, central air conditioners, room air conditioners, air-source heat pumps, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers and programmable thermostats.
Qualified products feature the distinctive Energy Star label, making them easier to identify. There is no price floor or ceiling for products to qualify for sales and use tax exemption. Rentals of Energy Star products are not exempt. Also of note, purchases by businesses are not exempt.
During the North Carolina Energy Office’s Energy Star Appliance Replacement and Rebate Program that was funded through the federal Recovery Act several years ago, over 89,600 appliances were purchased at a retail value of $89 million. Twenty-thousand rebates were issued to consumers and 90 percent of those funds went back into North Carolina’s economy, as tracked by purchases made through the cash-cards given in the rebates.
The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association worked to keep the sales tax holidays as they are popular tax relief for consumers and retailers alike, but tax reform passed by the 2013 General Assembly eliminated both in 2014. Consumers who would like to see the tax holidays return, should contact their local legislator to have their voice heard.
“The Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday was created to help consumers save energy and money while also increasing consumer awareness of energy efficiency,” said NCRMA President and General Counsel Andy Ellen. “We appreciate that North Carolina’s lawmakers have supported these types of events in our great state. They are popular with consumers who are ever-vigilant about saving money and spur economic activity when our residents shop in North Carolina.”
“As we communicated during the August back-to-school sales tax holiday, North Carolina may forego sales and use tax on specific exempt items, but studies have shown that shoppers tend to use the savings from sales tax to purchase additional non-exempt items. For example, a homeowner may use the $70 saved on purchasing a $1000 washing machine to go toward the purchase of the companion clothes dryer.”
“This weekend has been a win win win for North Carolina – the consumer, the retailer, and the state because while it has been good in the short term for both consumers and retailers, it is also good in the long term for the state,” said Harry Buntyn, Region Manager, Brandsource South Atlantic. “Because the more energy efficient we become in our homes through the use of energy efficient appliances and other measures, there is more of a likelihood of North Carolina continuing to have affordable electricity down the road.”