GA holds first sales tax holiday on appliances - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

GA holds first sales tax holiday on appliances

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September 29, 2005

Albany- Consumers in need of appliances might want to wait until next week to make their purchases, that's when they'll be able to buy them tax-free.

"It has to cost less than $1,500, and they don't have to pay the state sales tax which is 4%. They still have to pay local sales tax if there is a local sales tax, but they'll save 4%," says Chuck Knight, of Knight's Appliances.

The tax break includes dishwashers, florescent light bulbs, ceiling fans, washing machines, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostats and refrigerators. But they must be Energy Star rated.

"The energy guide that you'll find on the product, it should be attached to the product at some point will have the Energy Star label on it," Knight says.

The label means that appliance either meets or exceeds federal guidelines for energy consumption. It also means you'll likely pay more for the product. Retailers say that's because it costs manufacturers more to make them.

"Your cheaper items will not be Energy Star rated. A front-load washing machine is Energy Star rated. Most front load washing machines are. They're going to cost a little bit more. You may spend between $50 to $200 more depending on the model, but you'll easily save that over the life of the machines."

It's a savings up to an estimated $55 a year compared to a washing machine produced before 1993. Retailer Chuck Knight says spending a few extra dollars for the energy rating is worth it.

"You're going to pick up a lot of items on there other than just Energy Star. They don't take two models and make one Energy Star and one not. So, you get more for it than just Energy Star," he says.

It's estimated consumers who buy energy efficient products can save up to 30% on their bills, a discount that could mean a big difference in the coming months when utilities are expected to reach record highs.

Knight says the cost of repairing appliances with the Energy Star rating is about the same as repairing one without it. The appliance sales tax holiday will begin on Thursday, October 6th and run until Sunday, October 9th.

Online purchases made during that time period and delivered to Georgia addresses are also eligible for the state sales tax exemption. The exemption does not apply to items purchased for rent, lease, resale, or commercial use.

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