Comptroller visits R. Brooks & Sons to promote Shop Maryland Energy

MD-Comptroller visits R Brooks_3x

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
Comptroller Peter Franchot visited R. Brooks & Son this week, in anticipation of the Shop Maryland Energy tax-free promotion this weekend. Pictured are Laird Douglas, Peter Franchot, Michael Brooks, Kemp Brooks, Connie Brooks and Patrick Donoho, president of the Maryland Retailers Association.


CAMBRIDGE — Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot came to Cambridge this week to visit R. Brooks & Son Appliances on Maryland Avenue. The occasion was to promote the Shop Maryland Energy tax-free weekend, where customers can buy any Energy-Star rated energy-efficient appliances and avoid paying sales tax on the purchase. This is the sixth year that the Shop Maryland Energy promotion has been offered.

“Shop Maryland Energy has been hugely successful because it’s good for the economy and it’s good for the environment,” Comptroller Franchot said in a news release earlier in the week. “Marylanders save money on their purchases, reduce their future energy bills and invest in a greener future. Local stores that employ our friends and neighbors also benefit by getting a boost during these tough economic times.”

Energy Star products eligible for the 6 percent tax break include air conditioners, washers and dryers, furnaces, heat pumps, standard-size refrigerators, compact fluorescent light bulbs, LED light bulbs, dehumidifiers and programmable thermostats. To earn an Energy Star designation, an appliance must meet strict energy efficiency requirements developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In addition, representatives from Delmarva Power were on hand to also point out the Energy Star rebates available from the power company. Delmarva Power customers can apply for rebates on ENERGY STAR® certified hybrid water heaters, washers and dryers, and refrigerators. The rebates range from $500 for the ENERGY STAR® certified hybrid water heater, to $50 to $150 rebates on other items listed ( Bottom line: a careful shopper can save a respectable amount of money on major appliances this weekend.

“This weekend coming up, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, customers can buy any of these wonderful new Energy Star appliances that are energy efficient, and avoid the six percent sales tax,” said Mr. Franchot in the showroom at R. Brooks. “We need to promote energy efficiency for the sake of the environment, and I’m particularly pleased to promote it for the state of Maryland’s economic activity; and I hope R. Brooks does a real bang-up business this weekend.”

“We’ll be very, very busy,” said Kemp Brooks, owner of R. Brooks & Son Appliance. “A lot of people over the last couple of weeks have ‘pre-bought,’” in anticipation of the tax-free Shop Maryland Energy President’s Day weekend — meaning to say that customers have already done their shopping, and are waiting to finish the sale. “They know what they’re getting, and it’s all ready to be written up. The consumer is very aware of the tax-free program, and they’ll take advantage of it.”

“We’re proud in the State of Maryland to have a business like yours here,” said Comptroller Franchot. “This is a wonderful family-owned business.”

In conversation with Kemp Brooks, owner of the store, apparently the Shop Maryland Energy weekend is good for regular business as well as sales on tax-free items. “People will do all their shopping at once,” said Mr. Brooks, “save taxes on the qualifying items and also buy the items they need that aren’t tax-exempt. At the end of the month I’ll still send in more sales taxes to the Comptroller’s office than I would have without the sale.”

“Folks can shop in Cambridge like it’s Delaware, for once!” joked Mr. Franchot. “Bring your cameras with you — if there’s a car with Delaware tags on it in front of R. Brooks & Son this weekend I want a picture of it, and I’ll put it up on Facebook!”

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