Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 26, 2010
Contact: Tina Tran, 512-463-0113 or Cyrus Reed, 512-740-4086

Legislators Announce Memorial Day Weekend Tax Holiday on Energy Star Appliances

(Austin) — Senator Rodney Ellis, Senator Troy Fraser, Representative Lon Burnam, Sierra Club Conservation Director Cyrus Reed and the Lowe's Energy Star Appliance Team announced the Memorial Day weekend tax holiday on Energy Star energy efficient appliances at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol today.

"With Texans expected to save $3 million in taxes this weekend, the sales tax holiday has clearly been a success," said Senator Ellis. "Not only will consumers save money when they purchase the Energy Star products, but they also save each month on electricity. The combination of a sales tax holiday and energy efficient appliances will help all Texas families during these tight financial times."

During the 79th Texas State Legislature, Senator Ellis and Representative Lon Burnam sponsored legislation that created a Memorial Day weekend sales tax holiday on energy efficient appliances. This bill became part of an omnibus energy efficiency bill successfully passed by Senator Troy Fraser and current Speaker of the House Joe Straus.

"In tough economic times, this is a great way for Texans to be wise stewards both of their bank accounts and of our limited energy resources," said Representative Burnam. "I'm proud to have authored the original bill that created the Energy Star tax holiday, and I encourage Texans to take full advantage of it this Memorial Day weekend."

The Texas Retailers Association and the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club supported passage of the bill and highlight this important opportunity each year.

Ronnie Volkening, President of the Texas Retailers Association, stated, "The Texas Retailers Association strongly supports the sales tax holiday for energy efficient products, as we believe the benefits are three-fold: 1) Our customers save money this weekend at the sales register; 2) They continue their savings in their utility bills going forward; and, 3) Their use of these energy efficient products yields environmental benefits as well."

The products qualifying for the sales tax exemption are:

The Texas State Comptroller's Office estimates that Texas shoppers can save $3 million in state and local taxes during the weekend. That means about $35 million in sales of energy star appliances are projected to stimulate our economy over the weekend. For more information, see http://www.texaspowerfulsmart.org/.

"Saving energy by using energy efficient appliances means cleaner air for Texans because we don't have to run the power plants as much," said Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. "This is a good thing for all Texans and we celebrate it this week by urging you to take advantage of the Memorial Day weekend tax holiday."

The tax holiday begins at 12:01 AM on the morning of Saturday, May 29, and ends at 11:59 PM on Monday, May 31, Memorial Day, at stores throughout Texas.

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