Get ready for sales tax holiday weekend

Published 10:31 pm Thursday, June 28, 2012

The state of Alabama will waive its 4 percent sales tax next month on certain severe weather preparedness items to help residents prepare for future storms and natural disasters.

The sales tax holiday, which will begin Friday, July 6 at 12:01 a.m. and end at midnight on Sunday, July 8, has attracted 43 counties and 159 cities, including both Dallas County and the city of Selma, to participate in the first-ever event, according to the Alabama Department of Revenue.

Dallas County Emergency Management Agency Rhonda Abbott Director said she encourages everyone to participate in the sales tax holiday.

Email newsletter signup

“This is important because people can actually save a little money on items that could save their lives,” Abbott said. “It’s all very important supplies to have on hand. We recommend that people have a plan 72 hours out, and they need to have supplies on hand to protect their families and themselves to remain safe.”

The covered items must cost $60 or less, except for generators, which are covered as long as they cost $1,000 or less.

Items covered by the sales tax holiday include: several types of batteries, including cell phone batteries and chargers, battery-powered radios, flashlights, lanterns, emergency glow sticks, first-aid kits, fuel containers and more.

The annual sales tax holiday was a key recommendation of Gov. Robert Bentley’s Tornado Recovery Action Council, which was appointed following the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak.

“Being prepared is the first step to a quick response to a natural disaster,” Bentley said in a press release.  “If people have the emergency supplies they need, that will go a long way toward helping them weather any storm.”

Abbott said the three-day event was the perfect opportunity for people to go out and assemble a ready-kit so they are ready in case a storm comes through that causes them to be at home for a while.

“People have to take care of themselves, and this is the perfect opportunity for them to begin doing that,” Abbott said. “A lot of times people become complacent with weather because you hear that something is going to happen and then nothing ever happens, but you’ve got to take responsibility and have supplies on hand to protect yourself and your family.”