As the state enters inclement season, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that Texans can purchase certain items tax-free.
The state sales tax exemption for emergency preparedness supplies is scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 23 and end at midnight Monday, April 25.
“Whether it’s fires, freezing temperatures or tornadoes, extreme weather can strike at any time, so it’s important that families, homes and businesses have the supplies they need to make dealing with these and other emergencies,” Hegar said. “This tax exemption can help Texans save money while stocking up on emergency supplies.”
The Comptroller’s Office estimates that buyers can save more than $1.5 million in state and local sales taxes during the tax holiday, which was approved by the Texas Legislature in 2015.
There is no limit to the number of eligible items consumers can purchase, including batteries, fuel canisters, flashlights under $75, hurricane shutters and fire escape ladders under $300 and portable generators under $3,000.
For online purchases, consumers should note that delivery, shipping, handling and freight charges are part of the selling price. If the emergency preparedness item purchased is taxable, the delivery charges are also taxable. These costs should be taken into account when determining whether an emergency preparedness item can be purchased tax-free during the holidays.
For example, if a person buys an emergency ladder online for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, the total price is $309. Since the total sale price is more than $300, tax is due on the total.
Several over-the-counter self-care items, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray, and wipes, are still exempt from sales tax if labeled with a “Drug Facts” sign in accordance with the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Ineligible purchases are batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles, camping supplies including stoves, chainsaws, plywood, extension ladders and stepladders, and tents.