Proposal: Sales tax holiday for energy-efficient purchases

TRENTON – The Sales and Use Tax Review Commission is scheduled to consider a bill Wednesday that would establish a sales tax holiday for those who purchase energy-efficient products.

Under A552, people who purchase certain products – Energy Star appliances such as dishwashers or ceiling fans, for example – would be exempt from the 7 percent sales tax.

The purchases would have to be made during a designated period – the third weekend in April each year – and the cost would have to be no more than $2,500.

Some weatherization products also would be allowed, such as qualifying boilers or water heaters, or insulation.

Other bills that are scheduled to be considered by the commission:

A3516: This would provide rebates for certain purchases made by, or on behalf of, individuals and small businesses affected by natural disasters.

Construction materials and carpeting are some of the items allowed under this bill.

The bill would be retroactive to sales made after Oct. 28, 2012. Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey on Oct. 29.

Another Sandy-related bill the commission has scheduled to consider is A3545, which would eliminate the sales tax on foods and drinks at restaurants from Jan. 1 to Feb. 15 of this year.

The bill notes that many eating establishments stayed open with the use of generators in the storm’s aftermath and fed people affected by the storm.

A3934 addresses another aspect of life after Sandy. It would require nursing homes and other such facilities to have a generator to power common areas, community rooms and essential services in the aftermath of a storm if power is lost.

The bill would provide a sales tax exemption for the purchase of such equipment as well as provide for some tax deductions.

The commission reviews bills such as thesee and then makes recommendations to the Legislature whether they should or should not be enacted based on their financial impact on the budget.

Proposal: Sales tax holiday for energy-efficient purchases