Severe weather sales tax holiday set for this weekend

Published 10:00 am Thursday, February 21, 2013

Butler County residents and other state residents will be able to buy batteries, generators, tarps, duct tape and more without paying state, city or county sales taxes beginning Friday.

The second annual severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday and end at midnight on Sunday. The holiday was established in April when Gov. Robert Bentley signed House Bill 436 into law. The measure established an annual sales tax holiday, which allows Alabamians to purchase severe weather preparedness items.

“The bottom line is this sales tax holiday can help save lives,” Bentley said after signing the measure into law. “We want to encourage people to stock up on supplies that will help them safely weather a storm and its aftermath. Alabama is no stranger to severe storms. Whether it’s a tornado, a hurricane, or even an ice storm, we must all be prepared for whenever severe weather strikes.”

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The items covered under the sales tax holiday must cost $60 or less.

They include: AAA-cell batteries, AA-cell batteries, C-cell batteries, D-cell batteries, 6-volt batteries, 9-volt batteries, cellular phone battery, cellular phone charger, portable self-powered or battery-powered radio, two-way radio, weatherband radio or NOAA weather radio, portable self-powered light source, including battery-powered flashlights, lanterns, or emergency glow sticks, tarpaulin, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, other flexible, waterproof sheeting, ground anchor system, such as bungee cords or rope, or tie-down kit, duct tape, plywood, window film or other materials specifically designed to protect window coverings, non-electric food storage cooler or water storage container, non-electric can opener, artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs, reusable ice, self-contained first aid kit, fire extinguisher, smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, gas or diesel fuel tank or container.

Portable generators and power cords used to provide light, communications or to preserve food in the event of a power outage must cost $1,000 or less.

Retailers are required to participate and may not charge tax on items that are legally tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday.

Butler County EMA Director Shirley Sandy said she feels it is “extremely important” for residents to take advantage of the sales tax holiday.

“It makes it more affordable for the public to secure these items so that they can be prepared for any type of disaster,” she said. “It is a good ideal for everyone to have at least a 72-hour kit on hand at all times so that they can take care of themselves until they can get assistance.”

For more information about the sales tax holiday, visit the Alabama Department of Revenue web site at