Severe Weather Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTGOMERY – Starting this Friday, Feb. 23, to Sunday, Feb. 25, Alabama will observe its seventh annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.

The Alabama Retail Association encourages Alabamians to restock emergency supplies in homes, workplaces and vehicles during this three-day tax holiday.

Certain emergency preparedness items will be exempt from the state’s 4-percent state sales tax, and in some cities and counties, local taxes are waived on those items as well. Shoppers can save as much as 10 percent on these items in some areas of the state.

As of Feb. 8, 250 city and county governments opted to waive their local taxes as well.

Shelby County is participating, and local municipalities participating include Calera, Chelsea, Columbiana, Helena, Hoover, Montevallo, Pelham, Vincent, Westover and Wilsonville.

Not participating are Alabaster, Harpersville and Wilton.

Last year, around 220 city and county governments opted to waive their local taxes as well.

From 12:01 a.m. Feb. 23 to midnight Feb. 25, the tax-exempt items include the following priced at $60 or less: flashlights, lanterns, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, batteries, first-aid kits, cell phone charger, two-way radios, manual can openers, tarps and plastic sheeting, duct tape, fire extinguishers, tie-down kits, bungee cords or rope.

Other tax-free items include: coolers, ice packs, plywood, window film and smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detectors. Portable generators and power cords costing $1,000 or less are also tax free.

For a full list of tax-free items, visit Alabamaretail.org/alabamasalestaxholidays.

Alabama’s tax holiday is the earliest among the four states with a severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday. The Texas tax holiday is in April, Louisiana’s is in May and Virginia’s is in August.

“Severe weather can occur at any time, in any season,” Alabama Retail President Rick Brown said. “The tax holiday helps Alabama consumers remember to stock and prepare emergency kits to be ready when storms strike.”

Alabama Retail recommends having enough supplies in emergency kits to last 72 hours following a disaster.

For information on what items to include in emergency kits, as well as steps to take before and after disasters, visit Ready.gov.