MONTGOMERY – From Friday, Feb. 22, to Sunday, Feb. 24, Alabama will observe its eighth 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.
To see if your communities have decided to participate, click on the 2019 Participating Cities and Counties link.
From 12:01 a.m. Feb. 22 to midnight Feb. 24, the tax-exempt items include the following priced at $60 or less:
- Flashlights, lanterns
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- 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.
>> Severe weather preparedness page at alabamaretail.org
Alabama is one of three states with a severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday in 2019; the other states who have similar holidays are Texas and Virginia.
“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.”
Local hardware stores are stocked with emergency preparedness items for the tax holiday, including Mary Carter Store in downtown Cullman. Owner Raymond Young says that preparing for severe weather is personal for him, as Mary Carter Store itself has sustained significant damage from two separate tornados; once in the early ‘90s and most recently in 2011, which left much of downtown Cullman in disarray.
“That year, we were just giving people tarps and selling supplies, just doing anything in order to help, even though we suffered just as much damage,” said Raymond’s oldest son, Jeff, who also works at the store. “Now, we make sure we always have plenty of those items, and the tax holiday is a good time for families to stock up,” he added. Read more about how Mary Carter Store helps customer prepare for all weather situations.
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 ready.gov.
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.
Melissa Warnke | 256.338.0621 (c) | 800.239.5423