Originally posted on Future Expat.

MO Energy Star Tax Holiday (April 19-25): Avoid City Taxes in St. Louis - Arch City Homes #stlouis

If you have been thinking about purchasing any new appliances, you can avoid paying MO state sales tax if you purchase them between April 19 – April 25.

During the Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday you can buy qualifying energy star certified new appliances without paying Missouri sales tax on the first $1500 per appliance.

Since you don’t have to live in Missouri to be eligible, Southwestern Illinois residents should consider making a trip to St. Louis during the tax holiday if they are due to buy any of the eligible appliances soon.

Eligible Purchases:

The following energy star certified appliances qualify for the holiday this year.

  • Clothes washers
  • Water heaters
  • Dishwashers
  • Air conditioners
  • Furnaces
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Heat pumps

You Still Have to Pay Some Tax:

While you can also purchase online, I know there are plenty of people like me who want to walk into a store and see the choices in person before I make such a big decision.

If you do want to visit a St. Louis area store in person, it might be worth a drive to the local municipalities who have also opted to also waive sales tax on the purchases to save even more money.

In the St. Louis area, our major counties have all opted to NOT exempt the county taxes. However, you can avoid city taxes by carefully choosing where you shop. The list of which cities won’t require you to pay tax hasn’t been updated for 2013 yet, but here is the list from 2012. Typically these lists don’t change all that much from year to year, but I’ll update the list as soon as the new one is out.

  • Arnold
  • Cottleville
  • Fenton
  • Hazelwood
  • Overland
  • Rock Hill (the Sears appliance store where I bought my kitchen appliances is here!)
  • Sunset Hills
  • Town & Country
  • Wentzville

Or you can pick a store in an unincorporated part of St. Louis County or St. Charles County.

If you decide to shop in St. Louis City, there won’t be county taxes but there will be city taxes.

Tax rates in the local municipalities vary dramatically, and it can add up to a lot of money, so it is worth checking this site  and choose a store located in a lower tax rate municipality.

How Much Can You Save by Carefully Choosing the Store Location?

Let’s assume you are going to buy your appliance at a major chain that has stores throughout the area so the purchase price is the same. If you buy a $1500 appliance in most of St. Louis County, the county tax rate is 2.7%, or you will pay $40.50 in county tax. If you buy that same appliance in St. Charles County with a county tax rate of 1.725%, you will only pay $25.88 in county tax. Make the same purchase in St. Louis City, and you won’t pay any county tax.

You can compare the city tax rates of the stores you are considering here.

If you purchase your appliance at a retailer who has less than 2% of their sales as qualifying purchases, you may have to pay the tax upfront and get a refund. 

For more information, including how to get the sales tax refund if you are purchasing the appliance from a contractor who is installing it for you, see the MO State FAQ page.