Disaster-preparedness sales tax holiday to begin next week

Posted at 5:30 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 17:30:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida)With a sales-tax “holiday” starting next week, retailers are expecting big spending on disaster-preparedness supplies by Floridians who have fresh memories of Hurricane Irma.  

The six-month hurricane season arrives June 1, along with a week long period in which state and local sales taxes will be lifted on a list of disaster supplies.  

The discount period, for example, means about $1 in sales taxes will not be applied to a $15 package of batteries or around $50 is left off the purchase of a generator that costs $750.  

Expanded from three days last year, Florida Retail Federation spokesman James Miller says the tax holiday has drawn added attention after the state experienced hurricanes in 2016 and 2017 following more than a decade without a direct hit. 

“After being hit by Irma and everything that happened last year, people are well aware of what they need and what they didn’t have last year. They’re going to load up this year," said Miller. "We expect it to be very fruitful for retailers, and consumers are going to be able to save a lot of money on their end as well.” 

The “disaster preparedness” holiday period is projected to cut state revenue by $4.6 million.

Local governments will experience a $1.2 million reduction in revenue, according to state economists.

Beyond batteries and generations, other tax-free items will include tarps, flashlights, battery-powered radios, and portable gas tanks.