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Hurricane Season 2019: What to Stock up on During Tax-Free Holiday

Hurricane season incoming

At the 33rd Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference on May 15, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law House Bill 7123, featuring the 2019 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. This seven-day tax holiday on disaster preparedness items is part of the 2019 Tax Relief Package. Its purpose is to ensure Florida residents are prepared for the upcoming hurricane season.

The holiday was first established in 2014 under Gov. Rick Scott. This year, beginning Friday, May 31 and ending Thursday, June 6, qualifying items such as flashlights, generators and batteries are exempt from sales tax. This relieves the financial burden on Florida families preparing for a worst-case scenario.

“As we go into a new hurricane season, that [tax holiday] is going to be important,” DeSantis said at the conference.

The sales tax holiday does not apply to the rental or report of any of the qualifying items or sales in theme park, entertainment complex, lodging establishment, or airport. This hurricane season, some qualifying items for disaster preparedness kits also have cost limits.

Floridians are encouraged to get their hurricane kits ready and stock up on qualifying items to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. The 2019 hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30.

“I hope we have a very quiet and uneventful hurricane season,” DeSantis said. “But if not, we are all going to be hands on deck to make sure we are protecting the folks of Florida.”

What items will be exempt for hurricane season?

$10 or less
Reusable ice (ice packs)

$20 or less
Any portable self-powered light source:

$25 or less
Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers

$30 or less
Batteries, including rechargeable batteries, listed sizes only (excluding automobile and boat batteries):
-AA and AAA

Containers and ice chests
-Food storage, non-electrical

$50 or less
-Tarpaulins (tarps)
-Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths and other flexible waterproof sheeting
-Ground anchor systems
-Tie-down kits
-Bungee cords
-Ratchet straps
-Two-way and weather band radios (powered by battery, solor or hand crank)

$750 or less
Portable generators used to provide light or communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage

Always exempt (even outside of hurricane season)
-Bottled water (unflavored, uncarbonated)
-Canned food, including meats, vegetables, fruits, peanut butter and nonperishable items
-First aid kits
-Prescription and non-prescription medications (all Rx and most over-the-counter medications are exempt)
-Baby food and formulas


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