9-day tax-free window on hurricane season supplies coming up

May 12, 2014 

Among the hurricane supplies that will be available tax free are flashlights, portable radios, weather radios, tarps, gas cans and batteries. BAY NEWS 9 PHOTO

TAMPA -- If getting a jump on purchasing hurricane supplies for the upcoming season is not your thing, the state of Florida is issuing a little incentive.

Florida residents will again be able to buy hurricane supplies tax free. The Florida Legislature is making storm supplies exempt from sales taxes for one week at the start of hurricane season. The Legislature approved a tax cut package and sent it to Gov. Rick Scott, which he is expected to sign Monday.

Under the bill (HB 5601), the tax break would be from May 31 through June 8. "If you start early as soon as the season starts before the storm comes and have all the supplies that you need, you will be ready when the storm hits," said Ryan Budnik, a central Florida Ace Hardware Store manager.

Some of the specific items in the Sales Tax Holiday include:

A portable self-powered light source selling for $20 or less. A portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio selling for $50 or less. A tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting selling for $50 or less. A self-contained first-aid kit selling for $30 or less. A ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less. A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less. A package of AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries, selling for $30 or less. A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less. A portable generator used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage. selling for $750 or less. Reusable ice selling for $10 or less. These expemtions do not apply to sales inside of a theme park, entertainment complex, lodging establishment or airport. "You always want to be prepared even though the outlook for this (hurricane) season is for a tamer season," said Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker. "You could have a tame season and have one major storm hit your area, just like a busy season and no storms hitting your area."

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