Sales tax holiday for severe weather preparedness items set for Feb. 21-23

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTGOMERY — With Shelby County and central Alabama facing the chance of severe weather tonight, Gov. Robert Bentley is urging Alabamians to take advantage of Alabama’s third annual sales tax holiday for severe weather preparedness items Feb. 21-23.

“Being prepared and having the proper emergency supplies are essential,” Bentley said in a news release. “If people have the emergency supplies they need, it will go a long way toward helping them survive any storm, regardless of the season.”

The sales tax holiday will begin Feb. 21 at 12:01 a.m. and end Feb. 23 at midnight. Alabamians will have an opportunity to purchase certain severe weather preparedness items free of state sales tax, but local sales tax may still apply.

More than 220 local governments across the state will participate in the sales tax holiday. Participating governments include Calera, Columbiana, Helena, Hoover, Montevallo, Pelham and Shelby County.

“I am especially proud that more and more of our local government partners are joining the state in participating in this year’s sales tax holiday.  Last year, less than 200 participated.  This year, our most recent information indicates that 227 local governments are participating, the most ever in the holiday’s three-year history,” State Revenue Commissioner Julie P. Magee said. “This equates to real savings for our citizens — sometimes tax savings totaling as much as 10 percent on emergency preparedness items that will help keep Alabama families safe and protected during severe weather conditions.”

The sales tax holiday was a key recommendation of Bentley’s Tornado Recovery Action Council.  The council was appointed by the Bentley following the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak.

Review a list of sales tax free items here.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham is closely monitoring the threat of damaging straight-line winds and isolated tornadoes tonight through Friday morning. Shelby County falls in the “highest threat” area, but all of central Alabama has a chance of experiencing severe weather, which could arrive as early as 8 p.m.

Visit www.srh.noaa.gov/bmx to check the latest forecast, as times are subject to change.