First sales tax holiday for water-efficient products

Conserve water and save money this Memorial Day weekend! Saturday, May 28 through Monday, May 30, certain water-conserving products will join the annual Energy Star sales tax holiday. Even though the drought is over (for now), it’s important to reduce our water consumption, especially when it comes to landscaping. Landscape watering accounts for nearly one third of residential water use in Texas, and increasing the use of drought-tolerant plants in landscaping instead of traditional lawns could reduce withdrawals by 14 billion gallons by 2020. That’s a lot of water—as much as 260,000 Texans would use in a year.

Drought-tolerant landscaping plants—easily identifiable by a Texas Superstar® tag—can be purchased tax free this weekend. These plants have been researched and tested by the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and Research Services and are a great way to landscape and reduce water usage. These plants are hardy, reliable, and beautiful. More about Texas Superstar® plant varieties can be found here.

Products with a WaterSense label or logo qualify for the tax exemption for both commercial and residential use. These items include water-efficient sink faucets, toilets, and irrigation controllers.

Non-WaterSense items that conserve or retain groundwater, recharge water tables, or decrease ambient air temperatures (limit water evaporation) quality for the tax exemption for residential use only. Examples of such items include soaker/drip-irrigation hoses; moisture control for a sprinkler or irrigation system; mulch; rain barrels and moisture collection systems; permeable ground cover surface that allows for water to reach aquifers; and water-saving surfactants. Also, certain air conditioners and ceiling fans can be purchased tax free as part of the Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday.

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ website lists eligible products here, and a full list of retailers can be found on the TDA’s GO TEXAN website here.