Ward looking to include appliances in tax holiday

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

An Alabaster state senator on Feb. 22 filed a bill in the Alabama Senate aimed at adding energy efficient appliances to Alabama’s annual sales tax holiday.

Ward

Ward filed the Senate version of the bill, while state Rep. Greg Wren, R-Montgomery, filed the House of Representatives bill.

If passed, the bill would add “energy efficient products with a sales price of $1,500 or less per product purchased for noncommercial home or personal use,” read the bill.

The bill would add only appliances meeting federal government energy-saving efficiency requirements, Ward said.

The bill applies to furnaces, water heaters, natural gas tankless water heaters, dish washers, clothes washers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostats, refrigerators and computer monitors.

Currently, the sales tax holiday, which is held a few weeks before school begins each August, covers many back-to-school items, such as certain clothing items, school supplies and some electronics.

Ward said the new bill will help families to maintain the value of their homes while saving money on energy costs.

“Many families across Alabama are struggling in this economic atmosphere and finding it hard to purchase essential appliances and other items for their homes,” Ward said. “Exempting energy efficient appliances during the sales tax weekend provides them a window of hope and an opportunity to make the upgrades necessary to maintain the values of their homes.”

As of Feb. 24, the Ward’s bill had been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance and Taxation Education, and Wren’s bill had been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means Education.