“April Showers Bring May Flowers”. And while that may be true for those of us that live in this part of the Lone Star State, we often get showers (sometimes too much rain) throughout the entire month of May as well. So it may seem a bit odd to talk about water conservation during a month that averages 4.33” inches of rainfall for Bryan/College Station. But this is the month that water conservation may be considered “tax free”.
I’m talking about the State of Texas’ Water-Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday—where you can buy certain water-efficient and water-conserving products and pay no sales tax. The 2016 holiday begins Saturday, May 28, and goes through Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day). And there is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can buy.
You can also buy other water-conserving products tax free during the holiday period. But unlike WaterSense-labeled items, these items are only exempt when you buy them for use at your residential property. Examples of these items are products used or planted for:
- conserving or retaining groundwater;
- recharging water tables; or
- decreasing ambient air temperature; which in-turn limits the amount of water evaporation.
Other examples of items that qualify for the exemption include:
- a soaker or drip-irrigation hose
- a moisture control for a sprinkler or irrigation system
- mulch for landscaping around trees and flowerbeds
- a rain barrel or an alternative rain/moisture collection system
- a permeable ground cover surface that allows water to reach underground basins, aquifers or water collection points
- plants, trees and grasses
- water-saving surfactants
- soil and compost
Keep in mind that some items DO NOT qualify for the exemption. These items may include:
- construction/building materials
- awnings and other items used to create shade
- air conditioners*
- ceiling fans*
*Certain air conditioners and ceiling fans can be bought tax free as part of the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday during Memorial Day weekend.
For more information, you may contact the Texas State Comptroller’s office at comptroller.texas.gov/taxhelp, or call 1-800-252-5555.