Tax holidays for disaster prep items
Many states now offer sales tax holidays in August on clothing and computers to help families during the back-to-school shopping season. Sadly, only a handful of states do the same for natural disaster preparedness. With hurricane season kicking off June 1, it's a good time to stock up on batteries, generators, bottled water, radios and other emergency supplies. If you live in Virginia or Louisiana, you're in luck, as both states offer tax-free sales of such items. (Alabama's tax holidays for disaster prep are typically in late February.)
Virginia's "Hurricane Preparedness Equipment Holiday" runs May 25 to May 31 and typically covers emergency aid items that cost up to $60 and generators costing $1,000 or less. A complete list of exempt items is available at Virginia's tax holiday website.
In Louisiana, May 25 and May 26 are set aside as tax-free days for buying hurricane preparedness supplies. More information on Louisiana's tax hurricane tax holiday is available at the state's website.
While researching states that hold disaster prep tax holidays, I found several in Tornado Alley that offer them for guns and energy-efficient appliances. It might be wise to add disaster prep to the list – just sayin'.
If you're curious about other tax-exempt days, TaxRates.com has a comprehensive list of state sales tax holidays.
Des Toups is a writer, editor and expert on insurance, cars and personal finance. He has written extensively about all three for national publications such as MSN and major newspapers such as the Seattle Times. He has been quoted about insurance issues in The New York Times, USA Today and Kiplinger's. Follow him on Twitter @destoups.