Save money while preparing for hurricane season

Hurricane season is approaching. If you’re not quite ready, the state wants to help you afford a few items.

For seven days starting May 25th, the state will nix the sales tax on certain items like batteries, bottled water, flashlights, and even certain generators.

The Department of Emergency Management says Hurricane Irene last August caused the second-highest number of power outages in Virginia history. Several deaths also occurred in the state from that storm and the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee in September.

VDEM has also released the newest version of their Hurricane Evacuation Guide. It contains evacuation routes, emergency traffic patterns, storm surge maps  and preparedness tips.

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS SALES TAX HOLIDAY

APPENDIX — LIST OF QUALIFYING ITEMS

May 25 – May 31

Sales Price of $60 or less

The following hurricane preparedness items may be purchased exempt of the Retail Sales and Use Tax during the “Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday,” provided that such items have a selling price of $60 or less per item.

• Artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs and reusable ice

• Batteries (excluding automobile or boat batteries), including

o AAA cell

o AA cell

o C cell

o D cell

o 6 volt

o 9 volt

o Cell phone batteries

• Any portable self-powered light sources including

o Flashlights

o Lanterns

o Glow sticks

• Tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting

• Bungee cords, rope

• Ground anchor systems or tie down kits

• Ratchet straps

• Duct tape

• Carbon monoxide detectors

• Smoke detectors

• Fire extinguishers

• Gas or diesel fuel tanks or containers

• Water storage containers

• Nonelectric food storage coolers

• Bottled water

• Manual can openers

• Portable self-powered radios (including self-powered radios with electrical power capability)

• Two-way radios

• Weather band radios and NOAA weather radios

• Storm shutter devices

• Cell phone chargers

• First Aid Kits

Sales Price of $1,000 or less

The following hurricane preparedness items may be purchased exempt of the Retail Sales and Use Tax during the “Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday,” provided that such items have a selling price of $1000 or less per item.

• Portable generators and generator power cords
• Inverters and inverter power cables

The Virginia Department of Taxation’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday Guidelines and Rules are available online at http://www.tax.virginia.gov/salestaxholiday.

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