Through June 7, Floridians will have the opportunity to stock up on sales tax-free hurricane supplies.
The annual hurricane-preparedness sales tax holiday, which coincides with the start of the 2018 hurricane season, will waive the sales tax on items needed for hurricane preparedness.
Items such as portable generators under $750, batteries and coolers under $30 and any portable self-powered light source under $20 are eligible for the tax exemption.
Governor Rick Scott was at Hall Hardware in West Palm Beach on Tuesday to highlight the holiday.
Scott stressed the importance of being prepared because of limits to emergency services in the aftermath of a hurricane.
“During the storm, and a few days after the storm, you have got to take care of yourself,” Scott said.
Scott also referenced Subtropical Storm Alberto, which made landfall along the Florida panhandle on Memorial Day.
“We’ve got to get everyone prepared,” Scott said. “We’ve already had our first tropical storm, Alberto, and we were spared the torrential rains and the flooding so far.”
Russ Hopkinson, the store manager of Hall Hardware, urged Floridians to take advantage of the sales-tax exemption, referencing the late rush for supplies last year as Hurricane Irma approached the state.
“All this stuff, it doesn’t expire, so go ahead and start early, before there is a hurricane and worst-case scenario is that you put it in a box in your garage and you’ve got it for next year,” Hopkinson said.
The sales tax holiday was extended to seven days this year, after a shorter exemption period last year, a change that Hopkinson believes is beneficial to residents.
“Different people have different schedules, and maybe with those three or four days in the past some families could take advantage,” said Hopkinson. “Seven days has got a weekend covered and there’s more opportunity to work around your schedule.”
For a full list of items eligible for the sales tax exemption, visit http://floridarevenue.com/disasterprep/Pages/default.aspx.
What’s tax free for a week
- Bottled water (unflavored, uncarbonated)
- Canned food, including meats, vegetable, frutis, peanut butter and other nonperishable items
- First aid kits
- Prescription and non-prescription medications
- Baby food and formulas
$750 or less
- Portable generators used to provide light or communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage
$50 or less
- Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths and other flexible waterproof sheeting
- Ground anchor systems
- Tie-down kits
- Bungee cords
- Ratchet straps
- Radios (powered by battery, solar or hand crank)
$30 or less
- Batteries, including rechargeable
- Coolers and ice chests
$25 or less
- Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers
$20 or less
- Flashlights, candles, lanterns
$10 or less
- Reusable ice or ice packs