Florida is offering a sales tax free holiday June 1-7 on storm supplies, including online purchases.
Locally, Lowe's Home Improvement locations will offer special discounts for the holiday, and Trailwalker Gear Outfitters in Bradenton is having a free emergency preparedness fair from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The fair will include demonstrations and preparation advice. The store will also cover the tax on hurricane supplies that do not qualify for the state holiday through June 7.
Trailwalker offers many emergency essentials, including water filters and purifiers, food kits, waterproof backpacks, sleeping bags, portable stoves, solar lights and high-grade rope. Last year before Irma hit, about half the store sold, according to owner Jimmy Bailey.
Other places to shop and compare prices include local Home Depot, Harbor Freight and Ace Hardware locations. Crowder Brothers Ace Hardware locations in Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch have a battery sale and a special on a LED flashlight and holster combo for the month of June.
The list of items that qualify for the state sales tax exemption includes essentials for power outages and hurricane conditions.
Only certain items at certain price points are eligible.
Here is the complete list.
$10 or less:
▪ Reusable ice
$20 or less:
▪ Any portable self-powered light source powered by battery, solar, hand-crank, or gas
$25 or less:
▪ Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers.
$30 or less:
▪Non-electrical coolers and ice-chests
The following types of batteries, including rechargeables:
$50 or less:
▪ Bungee cords
▪ Ground anchor systems
▪ Radios (powered by battery, solar, or handcrank)
▪ Two-way radios
▪ Weather band radios
▪ Ratchet straps
▪ Tie-down kits
▪ Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths and other flexible waterproof sheeting
$750 or less:
▪ Portable generators used to provide light or communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage
Other things to know:
▪ Remember, bottled water, canned food, first aid kits, prescription and non-prescription medications and baby food and formulas are always tax exempt.
▪ Eligible light sources and radios qualify for the exemption even if electrical cords are also included.
▪ Kits cannot be sold in separate packages in order to qualify for the exemption. For example, a ground tie-down kit with four tie downs and related accessories sells for $100. The kit cannot be sold as four different packages to qualify for the exemption.
▪ If a qualifying item is sold together with non-qualifying merchandise, the item is still subject to sales tax. For example, a $25 toy that comes with AA-cell batteries would still be subject to sales tax.
▪ Qualifying items purchased during the sales tax holiday period using a gift card qualify for the exemption.
▪ If a customer winds up exchanging an item purchased during the tax-free holiday, no tax will be due at that time.
▪ If a customer returns an item after the tax free holiday, the customer or the retailer must have documentation that tax was charged in order for the customer to receive that money back.
▪ Qualifying items purchased during the sales tax holiday period using a rain check qualify for the exemption regardless of when the rain check was issued.
▪ Purchases by mail-order, catalog or online ordering are tax-exempt when the order is accepted by the mail-order company during the sales tax holiday period for immediate shipment, even if the delivery is made after the holiday.
See the full conditions of the tax holiday and related forms on the Florida Department of Revenue's website, or call Taxpayer Services at 850-488-6800, Monday through Friday.