ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — With the official start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season upon us, here's a chance to save a little bit of cash -- and be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at the Sunshine State.
The state's Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday starts Friday, May 29, and runs through Thursday, June 4. During this time, people can buy qualifying items related to disaster preparedness without paying any sales tax.
That includes items as small as flashlights to as large as portable generators. On a $699 generator selling in Pinellas County, for example, someone could save just about $49 in sales tax alone.
It's never too early to begin preparing for hurricane season -- no one wants to be waiting in line at the store with a storm set to arrive. And with most forecasts calling for an above-average season, the sooner you can prepare, the better.
NOAA last week came out with its forecast of 13-19 named storms, which 6-10 of those become hurricanes -- including 3-6 major hurricanes. The average number of named storms is 12.
Here's a rundown of the items exempt from sales tax from May 29 to June 4:
Selling for $10 or less:
- Reusable ice (reusable ice packs)
Selling for $20 or less:
- Any portable, self-powered light source (powered by battery, solar, hand-crank, or gas):
Selling for $25 or less:
- Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers
Selling for $30 or less:
- Batteries, including rechargeable batteries, listed sizes only (excluding automobile and boat batteries):
- 9-volt Coolers and ice chests (food-storage; nonelectrical)
Selling for $50 or less:
- Bungee cords
- Ground anchor systems
- Radios (powered by battery, solar, or handcrank)
- Weather band
- Ratchet straps
- Tarpaulins (tarps)
- Tie-down kits
- Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting
Selling for $750 or less:
- Portable generators used to provide light or communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage
The sales tax exemption does not apply to the rental or repair of any of the qualifying items, the Florida Department of Revenue said.
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