Tax break on storm supplies this weekend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2012



LAPLACE – With the start of the 2012 hurricane season just around the corner, residents of the River Parishes should take the opportunity this weekend to stock up on any needed supplies during the state’s annual tax-free weekend on emergency preparedness materials.

Starting Saturday, shoppers can purchase specified emergency supplies without having to pay the 4 percent state sales tax in preparation for hurricane season, which begins Friday, June 1. Tax-free purchases are authorized on the first $1,500 of the sales price on purchases made through 11:59 p.m. Sunday. The tax holiday only applies to the 4 percent state tax. All parish and municipal taxes will still be collected this weekend.

According to the state Department of Revenue, items that qualify for the sales tax exemption include self-powered light sources, such as flashlights and candles; portable self-powered radios, two-way radios and weather-band radios; tarpaulins, flexible waterproof sheeting, round anchor systems and tie-down kits; gas or diesel fuel tanks; and non-electric food storage coolers and blue ice products.

The exemption also applies to AAA, AA, C, D, six-volt or nine-volt batteries, cellphone batteries and phone chargers. Automobile and boat batteries are not eligible. Portable generators and storm shutter devices – materials and products manufactured, rated and marketed specifically for the purposes of preventing window damage from storms – are also included.

The holiday applies to rain checks and items in layaway but does not extend to items and supplies purchased at airports, public lodging establishments, hotels, convenience stores or entertainment complexes.

A measure passed during the 2007 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature enacted the annual state sales tax holiday on sales of hurricane-preparedness items or supplies. The holiday is permanently scheduled for the last Saturday and Sunday of each May.

For more information, visit the state Department of Revenue at www.revenue.louisi