Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts    STAR System


May 27, 1999


Dear **************:

Thank you for your question concerning the power washing of vent hoods for 

The taxability of power washing vent hoods for restaurants depends on several 
factors.  If the vent hoods are improvements to realty (e.g., vent hood is 
affixed as part of the duct work of the building), the service to clean the 
vent hood is taxable as a real property service.  Residential or nonresidential 
building or grounds cleaning, janitorial, or custodial services are taxable 
services as explained in Rule 3.356(a)(7) on real property services.  
Manufacturers may not claim exemption for real property services.

Services to vent hoods that are tangible personal property rather than 
improvements to realty may qualify for exemption depending on the 
circumstances.  If the vent hood is a component part of exempt cooking 
equipment (e.g., grill, stove, etc.), then services to clean the vent hood 
qualifies for exemption.  The exemption for services to manufacturing equipment 
that is tangible personal property extends to the component parts and 
accessories of the equipment.

If the vent hood is separate from the cooking equipment and is tangible 
personal property, the answer depends on whether the service was performed 
prior to October 1, 1997 or after.  Effective October 1, 1997, the sales tax 
law was amended such that machinery and equipment must cause a chemical or 
physical change to the product being manufactured.  Vent hoods do not cause a 
chemical or physical change to the product.  Although pollution control 
equipment used during the manufacturing process is still exempt, vent hoods 
have not been considered pollution control equipment.  We have no information 
indicating that vent hoods for restaurants are required as pollution control 
equipment either by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Texas 
Natural Resources Commissions (TNRC). 

Prior to October 1, 1997, items used in manufacturing to satisfy or comply with 
requirements of law or regulations for public health or pollution control 
purposes qualified for exemption.  Services performed on or after January 1, 
1995 and prior to October 1, 1997 on vent hoods that are tangible personal 
property are exempt if the restaurant is required by law or regulation to have 
the vent hoods.  Effective October 1, 1997, the law changed and unless a 
manufacturer can prove to the Comptroller's  office that the vent hoods qualify 
as pollution control equipment, no exemption is applicable under the current 
law. [STAR NOTE: Effective 10/01/99, Section 151.318(a)(10) was added to provide
an exemption relating to tangible personal property required to comply with 
public health requirements, subject to clear and convincing evidence provided by
the party claiming exemption.]

A manufacturer must give a properly completed exemption certificate to claim 
exemption for services to machinery and equipment that qualify for exemption.  
The service provider keeps the certificate in his records to document the 
claimed exemption by the manufacturer.

This opinion is based on the facts you submitted.  Other facts, though similar, 
may yield different results.

You may call me toll free at 1-800-531-5441, ext. 5-0030.  The direct line is 
512/475-0030.  You may also write to Tax Policy, Comptroller of Public 


David Somerville
Tax Policy Division

cc:  **************

DATE: 05/27/1999