Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday set for Feb. 23 to 25

MONTGOMERY – From Friday, Feb. 23, to Sunday, Feb. 25, Alabama will observe its seventh annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. The Alabama Retail Association encourages Alabamians to restock emergency supplies in homes, workplaces and vehicles during this three-day tax holiday. Certain emergency preparedness items will be exempt from the state’s 4-percent state sales tax, and in some cities and counties, local taxes are waived on those items as well. It means shoppers can save as much as 10 percent on these items in some areas of the state.

As of Feb. 8, 2018, 250 city and county governments opted to waive their local taxes as well. To see if your communities have decided to participate, click on the 2018 Participating Cities and Counties link.

From 12:01 a.m. Feb. 23 to midnight Feb. 25, the tax-exempt items include the following priced at $60 or less:

  • Flashlights, lanterns
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • Batteries
  • First-aid kits
  • Cell phone charger
  • Two-way radios
  • Manual can openers
  • Tarps and plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Tie-down kits, bungee cords or rope

Other tax-free items include: Coolers, ice packs, plywood, window film and smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detectors. Portable generators and power cords costing $1,000 or less are also tax free. For a full list of tax-free items, go to

Alabama’s tax holiday is the earliest among the four states with a severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday. The Texas tax holiday is in April, Louisiana’s is in May and Virginia’s is in August.

Severe weather can occur at any time, in any season,” said Alabama Retail President Rick Brown. “The tax holiday helps Alabama consumers remember to stock and prepare emergency kits to be ready when storms strike.”

Dan Moran, the owner of Rocky Ridge Hardware in Vestavia Hills, hopes his customers will take advantage of the opportunity to prepare early. “When bad weather hits or is about to hit, that’s when the flashlights go, the batteries, the candles, the tarps,” he said.

“We’re letting customers know what is included and not included in the tax holiday,” Moran added. Read more about how local hardware stores help customers prepare in times of crisis.

Alabama Retail recommends having enough supplies in emergency kits to last 72 hours following a disaster. For information on what items to include in emergency kits, as well as steps to take before and after disasters, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Melissa Warnke | 334.551.0631 | 256.338.0621

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>> Sales Tax Holiday Printable Poster

The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,200 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.

Originally posted Feb. 1, 2018.