Unfortunately, the vast majority of people cannot really reap the advantages of the sales tax holidays. As many homeowners have experienced, when an appliance breaks, you can't really wait to buy a new one.
And so when these weekends roll around, you either need to have opportune timing in the breakdown of your fridge, for instance, or enough money to afford the purchase of replacing one early. Such a scenario leaves out many who might not have much cash on hand, according to Matt Gardner, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
"Poor people can't always change the timing of their purchases," Gardner said, adding that in some cases it will cost more to buy an energy-efficient appliance.
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For example, the cheapest Energy Star, full-size refrigerator on Sears' website costs around $442, whereas a less efficient fridge runs only $398. So, despite the long-term savings, the up-front cost can be steep. That's why Gardner said incentives that go beyond sales tax holidays are more worthwhile.
"Policymakers should be thinking of ways to make these long-term investments more affordable," he said.
This could mean year-round rebates or appliance buybacks, where you can earn money toward the purchase of a new product by returning your old one, which are in place in many stores across the country.
To help consumers find the cheapest route to an efficient home appliance, Energy Star provides a rebate finder on its website, which allows you to search for deals near you. So whether or not you want to take advantage of a sales tax holiday for your next appliance purchase, chances are you'll be able to rake in the savings.