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Storm Preparedness Tax Free Weekend

By Glenn Collins
Thursday, July 5, 2012 | 10:07 AM

Alabamians planning to buy batteries, plywood or tarpaulins to prepare for the state's next round of severe weather can do it tax free this weekend.

Haleyville, Winston County and Alabama will observe the first tax free weekend for weather preparedness items on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Legislature passed a law in April that waives the state's 4 percent sales tax on many emergency preparedness supplies that cost $60 or less. That includes batteries, cellphone chargers, flashlights, portable radios, waterproof sheeting, generators, plywood, weather radios, duct tape, and non-electric food storage containers. The law also waived the state sales tax on portable generators costing up to $1,000.

"Being prepared is the first step to a quick response to a natural disaster," Gov. Robert Bentley said.

“The number of municipalities participating in the first year is truly impressive,” Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee said.  “Many of these cities and counties participate every year during the sales tax holiday for back‐to‐school items and have decided to participate in this additional weekend to help Alabamians prepare for severe weather.”

Items covered by the sales tax holiday include the following:

  • Several types of batteries, including cell phone batteries and chargers
  • Battery‐powered radios
  • NOAA weather radios
  • Flashlights, lanterns, and emergency glow sticks
  • First aid kits
  • Duct tape
  • Plywood, window film or other materials, specifically designed to protect window openings
  • Portable generators
  • Gas or Diesel fuel containers
  • Tarpaulins and plastic sheeting
  • Any non‐electric food storage cooler or water storage container
  • Non‐electric can openers
  • Any artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs, or reusable ice
  • Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Ground anchor systems such as cords or rope or tie‐down kits

The covered items must cost $60 or less, except for generators, which are covered as long as they cost $1,000 or less.

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