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Tax Holiday, Storm Season Arrive


Hurricane season kicks off Sunday. And Florida officials are marking it with a tax-free holiday, starting at midnight.

The sales tax break goes through June 8 and includes items from candles to portable generators worth up to $750.  Bryan Koon, director of Florida's Division of Emergency Management, says it helps residents stock up on batteries, food, even bungee cords.

"That's the intention is to spur people to go out,” he said. “Tell them, ‘Hey, you can save a few bucks and make sure you are taking care of yourself.’ We're really hoping it does that this year."

Know some supplies didn't make the list, such as battery chargers. And non-perishable food and water is usually tax free. Also, don't go shopping at a hotel, theme park or airport. The tax break does not apply there.

Koon says being prepared doesn't mean you have to go on a buying spree. Just be prepared.

"I just want people to understand this is really not that difficult to do," he said. “It really takes a little bit of money and a little bit of time and the return is tremendous."

Hurricane season lasts until November 30th. 

Here’s the complete list of supplies eligible for Florida’s tax holiday for hurricane preparedness, according to the state’s Division of Emergency Management: http://www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp

  • A portable self-powered light source selling for $20 or less
  • A portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio, $50 or less
  • A tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting selling for $50 or less
  • A self-contained first-aid kit selling for $30 or less
  • A ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less
  • A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less
  • A package of AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries, selling for $30 or less
  • A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less
  • A portable generator that is used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage selling for $750 or less
  • Reusable ice selling for $10 or less 

I’m the lucky one who guides the WUSF News team as it shares news from across Florida and the 13 amazing counties that we call the greater Tampa Bay region.
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