Severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday is this weekend


What better time to go out and purchase severe weather supplies than this weekend as severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday begins today and ends Sunday, Feb. 27.

Savvy shoppers can advantage of Alabama’s severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday at local stores including Academy Sports and Outdoors.

Tuscaloosa Academy Store Director Reginald Mitchell said the sales tax holiday means you can purchase certain items without paying Tuscaloosa’s 10% sales tax.

“The tax holiday for the community is a good benefit to help out for severe weather and just give that tax break to the customer,” Mitchell said.

Not only is it a good time to stock up on severe weather supplies, but Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency Director Nick Lolley said it’s imperative to have a severe weather plan in place for your home and family.

“You need to have a severe weather plan in place because we’ve had tornadoes every single year since I’ve taken over the EMA,” Lolley said. “You can replace a home. You can replace a vehicle, but you can’t replace you or your family.”

Severe weather items like tarps, batteries and flashlights are useful if your home has damage or the power goes out. But if you’re gonna buy anything during this tax holiday, purchase a weather radio, Lolley said.

“Do not rely on outdoor warning sirens, and sometimes the TV is going to go out and that weather radio has batteries in it,” Lolley said. “You can carry it with you and plug it wherever you can in your house so that would be one thing I would focus on if I was going to buy anything but this would be the time to go out and buy your batteries, generator things like that to use after the storm.”

If you purchase a weather radio, you can call Tuscaloosa County EMA at 205-349-0150, and they will help program your radios.

During the holiday, you can stock up tax-free on severe weather supplies that cost less than $60. In addition, generators costing $1,000 or less can be purchased without the state’s 4% sales tax over the holiday weekend.

Items eligible for the tax holiday include:

  • Common battery types
  • Cellphone chargers and batteries
  • Portable self- or battery-powered radios, including NOAA weather radios
  • Flashlights, lanterns and emergency glow sticks
  • Tarps and plastic sheeting
  • Ground anchor systems including bungee cords, rope or tie-down kits
  • Duct tape
  • Plywood, window film or materials designed to protect window coverings
  • Nonelectric food or water storage such as coolers
  • Nonelectric can openers
  • Self-contained first aid kits
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Gas or diesel fuel tanks/canisters
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