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Virginia energy-efficient sales tax holiday

Attention Virginia shoppers who want to save electricity and water. Over the long Columbus Day weekend, certain Energy Star appliances and WaterSense fixtures will be tax-free.

As long as each item purchased costs $2,500 or less and is for noncommercial use, you won't have to pay the Old Dominion's combined state and local sales tax rate of 5 percent.

This special environmentally-friendly sales tax holiday begins today, Friday, Oct. 8, and runs through Monday, Oct. 11.

Energy star logo Exempt Energy Star items include dishwashers, clothes washers, refrigerators, air conditioners, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, compact fluorescent light bulbs and programmable thermostats. Just make sure the products carry the Energy Star label.

Watersense_labels_logo As for WaterSense items, you can avoid the sales tax on bathroom sink faucets, faucet accessories, shower heads and toilets. Again, look for the WaterSense designation

Just make sure that in addition to being designated as an energy-saving product, each item meets tax holiday price and personal use requirements.

All retailers who sell qualifying items must participate in the Energy Star and WaterSense Sales Tax holiday, so shop around for the best price.

You also might be able to save a few more bucks by buying used Energy Star and WaterSense products. These pre-owned items still qualify for the sales tax savings.

The Virginia Department of Taxation provides details on eligible products, as well as guidelines for the annual event and a collection of tax holiday Frequently Asked Questions.

Virginia retailers also welcome shoppers who live in neighboring states and want to cross the border to pick up sales-tax-free energy saving items.

Just remember, though, that you'll probably owe a use tax on the purchase to your home state's tax collector. I know, I know. But I had to remind you!

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