Store managers urge people to take advantage of hurricane prep tax holiday

The tax holiday is expected to save Floridians $144 million.
Store managers urge people to take advantage of hurricane prep tax holiday
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 4:21 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray Florida Capital Bureau) - There are just a few days left of Florida’s hurricane supply tax holiday. Now through Friday, you don’t have to pay sales tax on essential supplies to be ready for when a storm hits.

The Florida Climate Center says 22 notable hurricanes hit the sunshine state since 1926, including Hurricanes Ian and Michael.

To help make sure people are ready, Florida is waiving sales tax on several items to help people weather the storm. But some store managers are not seeing a lot of foot traffic, and worry not enough people will be prepared.

“Get all your supplies now because you don’t want to wait until after tragedy,” Trevor Coxwell, Killearn ACE Hardware Manager said.

The state has offered the tax holiday for several years, and this year is expected to save Floridians $144 million.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said the state is able to offer these savings because of money already in the bank.

“Right now we are in the best financial health we’ve ever been in the state of Florida,” Patronis said.

And it’s something people have come to expect. Marie Palella in Sarasota stocks up every year on supplies every year.

“We always do that with the water, and the lights, and the flashlights, and batteries, and a little radio so you know what’s going on,” Palella said.

The tax holiday going on right now includes gas cans and generators. But Coxwell said not many people are coming in and stocking up on these items.

“I’m hoping more people prepare now versus creating shortages coming up as we always see with gas, propane, everything like that,” Coxwell said.

Common household supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, and soap are also included in the list of tax-free items this year.

This is the first year there will be a second tax holiday on hurricane supplies. There will be another 14-day window from August 26 through September 8.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has a list of all supplies eligible for the tax holiday.