Shelby County, local cities participating in severe weather sales tax holiday

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Recent storms may have severe weather preparedness on residents’ minds, and an opportunity to stock up on needed items with a sales tax break is coming up.

Alabama will observe the ninth annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday from Friday, Feb. 21, to Sunday, Feb. 23.

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. The tax holiday means shoppers can save as much as 10 percent on these items in some areas of the state.

Shelby County will participate in the sales tax holiday, as will local municipalities Calera, Chelsea, Columbiana, Harpersville, Helena, Hoover, Montevallo, Pelham, Vincent and Wilsonville.

Alabaster will not participate in the sales tax holiday, though shoppers in the city will still be exempt from state and county sales taxes.

To see the full list of communities participating in the holiday, visit Revenue.Alabama.gov.

From 12:01 a.m. Feb. 21 to midnight Feb. 23, 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, go to the severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday page at AlabamaRetail.org.

“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.