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Hurricane preparation supplies are tax free this weekend

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Posted at 9:34 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 23:09:50-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The time of year that most property owners along the Texas coast dread is almost here. Hurricane season begins June 1 and state officials want Texans to be prepared for turbulent storms and any emergency.

The Sales Tax Holiday for emergency supplies begins Saturday, April 25 at 12:01 a.m. through midnight on Monday, April 27. Though Texans are still under a state stay-at-home order, the state comptroller advises residents to take advantage of online purchases during the tax-free holiday weekend.

These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:

  • Less than $3000
    • Portable generators
  • Less than $300
    • Emergency ladders
    • Hurricane shutters
  • Less than $75
    • Axes
    • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
    • Can openers - nonelectric
    • Carbon monoxide detectors
    • Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
    • Fire extinguishers
    • First aid kits
    • Fuel containers
    • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
    • Hatchets
    • Ice products - reusable and artificial
    • Light sources - portable self-powered (including battery operated)
      • Examples of items include: candles, flashlights and lanterns
    • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
    • Radios - portable self-powered (including battery operated) - includes two-way and weather band radios
    • Smoke detectors
    • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

Note: Several over-the-counter self-care items, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray and wipes, are always exempt from sales tax if they are labeled with a “Drug Facts” panel in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

For purchases made online, note that delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday.

For example, if you purchase a rescue ladder for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, the total sales price is $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.

The list of tax-free items is established by law and does not include items such as masks or personal protection equipment.

Other purchases that do not qualify include:

  • batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles;
  • camping stoves and camping supplies;
  • chainsaws;
  • plywood;
  • extension ladders and stepladders; and
  • tents.

A list of emergency preparation supplies [lnks.gd] that may be purchased tax free can be found on the Comptroller’s website.