Missouri promotes tax break for efficient appliances

MISSOURI - Missourians won't have to pay state sales tax for new, energy-efficient appliances if they wait to make their purchase until mid-April.

From April 19-25, the state is waiving its 4.225 percent sales tax on washing machines, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, water heaters, furnaces and air conditions if the new appliance is Energy Star-certified. The state tax break only applies to the first $1,500 for each appliance.

Nine counties and just over 50 cities also plan to waive their sales taxes for that week.

In promoting the weeklong tax holiday that doesn't start for more than a month, state officials and the president of the Missouri Retailers Association surrounded themselves with refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances at a Jefferson City electronics store.

Revenue Department Director Karen Mitchell said the Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday makes it easier for consumers to use less electricity and needs to be promoted early because appliances aren't cheap.

"We know people do not make these types of decisions to purchase large items at the last minute," she said. "We hope people will begin thinking now about buying some of these appliances."

Lawmakers included the sales tax holiday in broader legislation last year that was designed to increase energy efficiency.

That law also allows income tax deductions of up to $1,000 for home energy audits and the implementation of their recommendations, beginning this year. It also lets the state treasurer provide incentives to businesses producing and selling fuel or power from alternative energy sources, such as the sun, wind or water.

Legislative staff in a cost estimate prepared last year for the sales tax holiday, estimated it would cost state government just over $1.1 million in lost collections.

Asked by reporters about the potential for a drop in state revenue, Missouri Retailers Association President David Overfelt said the affect likely would be minimal.

"This is not a budget-buster," he said.

Overfelt said his organization plans to work with lawmakers to expand the tax holiday for Energy Star-certified appliances to include television sets.



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