Emergency Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday
The 2016 Sales Tax Holiday for Emergency Preparedness Supplies will happen in Texas from April 23-25, 2016.
Did you know that Texas has a sales tax holiday specifically for Emergency Preparedness Supplies? It does! It is designed to mirror the School Supplies Tax Holiday that has been in effect for many years. However, this hasn’t always been the case.
State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa from McAllen, Texas authored the bill in March 2015 and was passed in June 2015 by signature of the Governor. A review of the legislative history of SB 904 (the bill that then turned into Tex. Tax §151.3565) shows a very easy path with relatively no opposition to the bill.
Since 2016 will be the first ever “Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday” there might be some confusion on what exactly is tax free from 12:01 am on Saturday, April 23, and ending at midnight on Monday, April 25, 2016. If you are interested in reading the full statute, you can find what is covered at Tex. Tax Code § 151.3565(b) (West 2016). The great part about this whole process is that–like the School Supplies Sales Tax Holiday–you don’t need to show an exemption form to be exempted from sales tax and there’s no limit to the number of items you can purchase! Keep in mind though, if there is shipping, handling or any other charges on the item when it is purchased, that is considered part of the sales price.
Here’s the list:
- Portable Generators that are sales priced at $3,000 or less and used for light, communications, and/or perishable foods in the event of a power outage (Tex. Tax Code § 151.3565(b)(1)).
- Storm Protection Devices, that are”manufactured, rated, and marketed specifically to prevent damage to a glazed or non-glazed opening during a storm” sales priced less than $300 (Tex. Tax Code § 151.3565(b)(2)(A)).
- Emergency or Rescue Ladders sales priced less than $300 (Tex. Tax Code § 151.3565(b)(2)(B)).
- Each of the following are eligible if sales priced under $75 (Tex. Tax Code § 151.3565(b)(3)(A)-(M)):
- Reusable or Artificial Ice Products
- Portable, self-powered light sources
- Gasoline or diesel fuel containers
- Small batteries that come more than one to a package and are not car or boat batteries (AAA, AA, C, and D cells & 6 and 9 volt batteries)
- Nonelectric cooler or ice chest used for food storage
- Tarps (listed as “tarpaulin”) or other flexible weatherproof sheeting
- Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits
- Cellphone batteries or battery chargers
- Portable self-powered radios to include both two-way and weather radios
- Fire extinguishers
- Smoke Detectors
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Hatchets & Axes
- Self-contained first aid kits
- Non-electric can openers.
As a review, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) recommends individuals and families have the following in their basic emergency supplies kit:
- Water (1 Gallon per person, per day)
- At least 3 days of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a weather radio with tone alert.
- First Aid Kit
- Filter masks
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties
- Wrench or pliers
- Manual can opener
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape
- Cellphone and chargers
- Important Family Documents
- Extra batteries for all electronics in the kit
- And family unique items (such as pet supplies, medicines, formula, or diapers).
The Texas Comptroller’s website has an announcement speaking about this tax holiday at: http://comptroller.texas.gov/taxinfo/taxpubs/tx98_1017.html.