State offering sales tax holiday on severe weather preparedness items

Published 5:24 pm Friday, February 22, 2013

Gov. Robert Bentley urged people across Alabama to take advantage of a state sales tax holiday for severe weather preparedness items.

The state sales tax holiday began on Friday and continues through the end of Sunday.

As part of the holiday, items related to severe weather preparedness will be exempt from state sales and uses taxes.

Items covered by the state sales tax holiday include:

•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.

“People need to take this opportunity to stock up on supplies they will need before, during and after severe weather,” Bentley said in a release. “From NOAA weather radios to first aid kits and generators, these supplies can help you and your family stay safe. Alabama is vulnerable to several different forms of severe weather. Take the time now to plan ahead. If you wait until the storm strikes, it is often too late.”

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

Although Chilton County is not joining the state by removing local sales and use taxes from the same items, items included in the state sales tax holiday will be discounted 4 percent.

The annual sales tax holiday was a key recommendation of Bentley’s Tornado Recovery Action Council. The council was appointed by Bentley following the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. Sen. Greg Reed of Walker County and Rep. Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa County sponsored legislation to create the holiday. The measure was approved by the Alabama Legislature in April 2012 and was immediately signed by Bentley.