If you live in Maryland and your significant other isn't particularly romantic, you might be able to pick up a useful Valentine's Day gift and save on some taxes.
The Old Line State this long holiday weekend is waiving its 6 percent sales tax -- which is this week's By the Numbers figure -- on purchases of qualifying energy efficient items.
The sales tax holiday began at 12:01 a.m. today, Saturday, Feb. 13 (sorry for the late notice; I had a busy day!) and continues until 11:59 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15.
The Comptroller of Maryland special Web page says the following Energy Star products are tax free:
- Air conditioners
- Clothes washers and dryers
- Heat pumps
- Standard size refrigerators
- Programmable thermostats
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs
Annual and year-round tax breaks: If you want to splurge and take advantage of Maryland sales tax savings and a federal tax credit, spring for a solar water heater.
Even better, you can do that any time. Maryland's Comptroller notes that the sun-powered units are now sales tax-exempt in the state every day of the year.
Also mark your 2017 calendar. The Shop Maryland Energy Weekend will occur in perpetuity -- or until the state's lawmakers deem otherwise -- on the third Saturday immediately preceding the third Monday in February through that third Monday.
Making the most of the mundane: OK, I know a new refrigerator is not the gift that immediately comes to mind when most lovers think about what to give their sweethearts.
But you could get one and use your sales tax savings to fill it with candy and champagne.
And maybe a nice piece of ice -- a diamond necklace, perhaps? -- in the freezer.
You also might find these items of interest: