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2015 SESSION


CHAPTER 382
An Act to amend and reenact 58.1-609.1, 58.1-611.2, and 58.1-611.3 of the Code of Virginia, relating to temporary exemption periods from retail sales and use taxes for qualifying items.
[S 1319]
Approved March 19, 2015

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 58.1-609.1, 58.1-611.2, and 58.1-611.3 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:

58.1-609.1. Governmental and commodities exemptions.

The tax imposed by this chapter or pursuant to the authority granted in 58.1-605 and 58.1-606 shall not apply to the following:

1. Fuels which are subject to the tax imposed by Chapter 22 ( 58.1-2200 et seq.). Persons who are refunded any such fuel tax shall, however, be subject to the tax imposed by this chapter, unless such taxes would be specifically exempted pursuant to any provision of this section.

2. Motor vehicles, trailers, semitrailers, mobile homes and travel trailers.

3. Gas, electricity, or water when delivered to consumers through mains, lines, or pipes.

4. Tangible personal property for use or consumption by the Commonwealth, any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, or the United States. This exclusion shall not apply to sales and leases to privately owned financial and other privately owned corporations chartered by the United States. Further, this exemption shall not apply to tangible personal property which is acquired by the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions and then transferred to private businesses for their use in a facility or real property improvement to be used by a private entity or for nongovernmental purposes other than tangible personal property acquired by the Herbert H. Bateman Advanced Shipbuilding and Carrier Integration Center and transferred to a Qualified Shipbuilder as defined in the third enactment of Chapter 790 of the 1998 Acts of the General Assembly.

5. Aircraft subject to tax under Chapter 15 ( 58.1-1500 et seq.).

6. Motor fuels and alternative fuels for use in a commercial watercraft, as defined in 58.1-2201, upon which a fuel tax is refunded pursuant to 58.1-2259.

7. Sales by a government agency of the official flags of the United States, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or of any county, city or town.

8. Materials furnished by the State Board of Elections pursuant to 24.2-404 through 24.2-407.

9. Watercraft as defined in 58.1-1401.

10. Tangible personal property used in and about a marine terminal under the supervision of the Virginia Port Authority for handling cargo, merchandise, freight and equipment. This exemption shall apply to agents, lessees, sublessees or users of tangible personal property owned by or leased to the Virginia Port Authority and to property acquired or used by the Authority or by a nonstock, nonprofit corporation that operates a marine terminal or terminals on behalf of the Authority.

11. Sales by prisoners confined in state correctional facilities of artistic products personally made by the prisoners as authorized by 53.1-46.

12. Tangible personal property for use or consumption by the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired or any nominee, as defined in 51.5-60, of such Department.

13. [Expired.]

14. Tangible personal property sold to residents and patients of the Virginia Veterans Care Center at a canteen operated by the Department of Veterans Services.

15. Tangible personal property for use or consumption by any nonprofit organization whose members include the Commonwealth and other states and which is organized for the purpose of fostering interstate cooperation and excellence in government.

16. Tangible personal property purchased for use or consumption by any soil and conservation district which is organized in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 ( 10.1-506 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 10.1.

17. Tangible personal property sold or leased to Alexandria Transit Company, Greater Lynchburg Transit Company, GRTC Transit System, or Greater Roanoke Transit Company, or to any other transit company that is owned, operated, or controlled by any county, city, or town, or any combination thereof, that provides public transportation services, and/or tangible personal property sold or leased to any county, city, or town, or any combination thereof, that is transferred to any of the companies set forth in this subdivision owned, operated, or controlled by any county, city, or town, or any combination thereof, that provides public transportation services.

18. (Effective until July 1, 2017) Qualified products designated as Energy Star or WaterSense with a sales price of $2,500 or less per product purchased for noncommercial home or personal use. The exemption provided by this subdivision shall apply only to sales occurring during the four-day three-day period that begins each year on the first Friday before the second Monday in October in August and ends at midnight 11:59 p.m. on the second Monday in October following Sunday.

For the purposes of this exemption, an Energy Star qualified product is any dishwasher, clothes washer, air conditioner, ceiling fan, compact fluorescent light bulb, dehumidifier, programmable thermostat, or refrigerator, the energy efficiency of which has been designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Energy as meeting or exceeding each such agency's requirements under the Energy Star program. For the purposes of this exemption, WaterSense qualified products are those that have been recognized as being water efficient by the WaterSense program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as indicated by a WaterSense label.

58.1-611.2. Limited exemption for certain school supplies, clothing, and footwear.

Beginning in 2006 2015, and ending July 1, 2017, for a three-day period that begins each year on the first Friday in August and ends at midnight 11:59 p.m. on the first Sunday in August following Sunday, the tax imposed by this chapter or pursuant to the authority granted in 58.1-605 or 58.1-606 shall not apply to certain (i) school supplies, including, but not limited to, dictionaries, notebooks, pens, pencils, notebook paper, and calculators, and (ii) clothing and footwear designed to be worn on or about the human body. The tax exemption shall apply to each article of school supplies with a selling price of $20 or less, and each article of clothing or footwear with a selling price of $100 or less. Any discount, coupon, or other credit offered either by the retailer or by a vendor of the retailer to reduce the final price to the customer shall be taken into account in determining the selling price for purposes of this exemption.

The Department shall develop guidelines that describe the items of merchandise that qualify for the exemption and make such guidelines available, both electronically and in hard copy, no later than July 15 of each year.

58.1-611.3. (Expires July 1, 2017) Limited exemption for certain hurricane preparedness equipment.

Beginning in 2008 2015, for a seven-day three-day period that begins each year on May 25 the first Friday in August and ends at 11:59 p.m. on May 31 the following Sunday, the tax imposed by this chapter or pursuant to the authority granted in 58.1-605 or 58.1-606 shall not apply to (i) portable generators used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage and; (ii) certain other hurricane preparedness equipment, including, but not limited to, blue ice, carbon monoxide detectors, cell phone batteries, cell phone chargers, gas or diesel fuel tanks, nonelectric food storage coolers, portable self-powered light sources, portable self-powered radios, two-way radios, weather band radios, storm shutter devices, tarpaulins or other flexible waterproof sheeting, ground anchor systems or tie down kits, gas-powered chain saws and chain saw accessories, and packages of AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt, or 9 volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries. As used in this section, "storm shutter" means materials and products manufactured, rated, and marketed specifically for the purpose of preventing window damage from storms. The tax exemption shall apply to each portable generator with a selling price of $1,000 or less, each gas-powered chainsaw with a selling price of $350 or less, and each article of other hurricane preparedness equipment with a selling price of $60 or less. Any discount, coupon, or other credit offered either by the retailer or by a vendor of the retailer to reduce the final price to the customer shall be taken into account in determining the selling price for purposes of this exemption.

The Department shall develop guidelines that describe the items of merchandise that qualify for the exemption and make such guidelines available, both electronically and in hard copy, no later than May July 15 of each year.