Retailers prepare for sales tax holiday

Published 9:44 am Friday, October 8, 2010

FRANKLIN—Local retailers are hoping this weekend’s sales tax holiday for energy-efficient appliances will draw shoppers into their stores.

“I’m looking forward to a good sales weekend,” said Tim Rice, manager at Lowe’s in Franklin. “It was very successful last year, and we anticipate the same this year.”

This is Virginia’s fourth annual sales tax holiday for Energy Star and WaterSense products. During the holiday, which runs from Friday, Oct. 8, to Monday, Oct. 11, consumers can purchase a variety of “green” products qualified for energy savings by the federal government and not pay the 5 percent state and local sales tax.

Appliances must cost $2,500 or less and be purchased for personal use. Energy Star products include air conditions, refrigerators, dishwashers, ceiling fans, washing machines, compact fluorescent light bulbs and programmable thermostats.

WaterSense products include bathroom sink faucets, faucet accessories and toilets. The sales tax exemption also applies to purchases of qualified used Energy Star and WaterSense products.

Ginnie Spivey, the assistant manager at Sears in Franklin, said the tax holiday is generating interest among customers, many of which said they planned to come back and purchase appliances over the weekend.

“People are looking forward to it,” Spivey said.

Ivor Furniture Co. is extending the sales tax holiday to items storewide, said office manager Brenda Stephenson.

“We’re going absorb that 5 percent for them,” she said. “When they spend the gas to come over, we’re going to save them all we can.”

Roberta Bowman, the store manager at Floor to Ceiling in Franklin, said the weekend is “a great opportunity” for customers to save money on some major appliances.

“If they were going to replace them anyway, now is a good time,” Bowman said.

Gov. Bob McDonnell encourages Virginians to invest in Energy Star and WaterSense products.

“We all need to do our part to use energy more wisely and conserve our natural resources,” McDonnell said in a written statement. “Buying energy-efficient appliances is a smart investment, saving consumers money on their utility bills and conserving energy,” he said.