As Georgia lawmakers debate big-ticket tax breaks for yacht owners and others, regular folk may be about to lose a common annual sales tax holiday.
The state for more than a decade has given shoppers one sales-tax-free weekend a year for buying appliances with the ‘Energy Star’ or ‘Water Sense’ label, as long as the purchase price was $1,500 or less. The move came as the state has ebbed and flowed against drought conditions and as metro Atlanta’s population has boomed, straining resources including the area’s water supply.
Officials have estimated that the weekend costs the state and local municipalities about $2 million in overall tax revenue. Lawmakers first approved the holiday in 2005. Supporters, which include the Metro Atlanta Chamber, say the trade-off is promoting conservation efforts – including buying water- and energy-efficient appliances.
They are now pushing to get the holiday included in any number of measures still being debated during the current legislative session. That includes House Bill 93, a separate tax bill, which a Senate subcommittee amended Tuesday afternoon to include the holiday.
Time, however, is running out. The session ends March 30.