Four tips to get the best price with Florida’s hurricane prep sales tax holiday
Florida’s sales tax holiday for hurricane supplies starts Friday and runs through Sunday, June 6. Before you go to the store though, you should be aware of a number of caveats and exceptions on what you can buy and not pay sales tax on.
Let’s examine four tips to make you a more savvy shopper.
Tip one: It’s not carte blanche
Florida’s sales tax holiday is not offered carte blanche. Only certain items are allowed to be sold without sales tax as determined by the State of Florida. What qualifies isn’t up to the store’s discretion, and it’s not up to your interpretation, even if you’re buying something in particular you expect to use in a storm.
A sample list of applicable items that can be purchased (with exceptions we’ll talk about next) includes batteries, flashlights, generators, tarps, coolers, weather radios, and fuel containers.
What’s not included? Things like shelves, boxes, and book bags to store your hurricane supply kits when you get home. Car and boat batteries, even though they may be needed during a storm, aren’t included in the sales tax holiday. Have a generator in need of repair? The repair cost is not included in the sales tax holiday either.
Tip two: Even applicable items have a limits
Everyone’s hurricane kit needs batteries and AAA, AA, C, D, 6-volt, and 9-volt batteries are included in the sales tax holiday. But there’s a limit you should keep in mind of $50. Also, make sure if you’re buying batteries that’s all you’re getting. A packaged unit of batteries with a plug-in battery charger does not qualify for the tax-exempt status so you’ll pay full price if that’s what you get.
Other limits you should keep in mind include the fact that flashlights are included in the tax holiday as long as they are $40 or less. Fuel containers only apply if they are $50 or less and coolers only qualify if they are less than $60 and are non-electrical. This includes coolers you can plug into your car; they won’t have the tax break. Tarps, ground anchor systems, and plastic cloths that you will want to use for your roof after a storm have a limit of $100.
Tip three: Sales prices matter
Make sure you check out sale prices on big-ticket items like generators which can become very expensive. The sales tax holiday applies to the price on the day of purchase, not the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. This can make a big difference in how much you shell out when buying things this weekend!
Take generators as an example. Generators are tax-free during the holiday if they are $1,000 or less. This means a generator that retails for $2,000 but is on sale for $999 qualifies for the sales tax break, but a unit that retails for $1,200 and isn’t on sale does not qualify.
Tip four: Read the fine print
Before you step into the store, check out this document from the State of Florida that clearly states what applies to the sales tax holiday. It also offers examples and frequently asked questions so you get the best price possible on what you’ll need this hurricane season. Not sure what you need for a hurricane kit? NBC2 can help you out with our online hurricane guide here.
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