Joseph Plummer

North Port resident Joseph Plummer, and his wife Maxine (not pictured), bought a generator during last year’s hurricane season sales tax holiday.

This hurricane season is a lot different.

We are already in an ongoing crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic. People have stocked up on toilet paper and other items, even as state regulations start to relax. But why not be prepared for another disaster, one that threatens the state every summer?Monday is the start of hurricane season, going all the way until Nov. 30. And the Florida Legislature passed a disaster preparedness sales tax holiday to not only get you prepared, but also save you some cash along the way.

The tax holiday runs through Thursday, June 4, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.

During this period, items related to disaster preparedness, from reusable ice packs to portable generators, are exempt from both the state sales tax and local-option taxes.

The state’s general sales tax rate is 6%, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.

“We ask that residents do as much as they can to prepare for disasters,” said Charlotte County’s Emergency Management Director Patrick Fuller. “The sales tax holiday gives residents the opportunity to pay less for the supplies that they would need should we receive impacts from a tropical storm or hurricane.”

Colorado State hurricane researchers are predicting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season this year, with 16 named storms, eight anticipated to become hurricanes and four to be a category 3 or higher.

“We urge our residents approach each hurricane season in the same manner regardless of forecast,” Charlotte County Emergency Management Director Patrick Fuller said. “Know your risk, make a plan, build a disaster kit, know where you and your family will evacuate if directed to do so (while viewing public shelters as your last option) and stay informed.”

“Natural disasters can cause hardship and challenges for Floridians,” said Jim Zingale, the executive director of the Florida Department of Revenue. “I hope consumers will use the disaster preparedness sales tax holiday to gather supplies. It’s always a good idea to be prepared before disaster strikes.”

Items only qualify for tax exemption if they sell for the amount, or less, determined by the Florida Department of Revenue listed below. Here’s what you can save on:

$10 or less:

• Reusable ice and ice packs

$20 or less:

Any portable, self-powered light source, such as candles, flashlights and lanterns. “Self-powered” can mean battery, solar, hand-crank or gas.

$25 or less:

Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers.

$30 or less:

Batteries, including rechargeable batteries:

• AAA-cell

• AA-cell

• C-cell

• D-cell

• 6-volt

• 9-volt

Excludes automobile and boat batteries.

• Also coolers, ice chests and other nonelectrical items used for food storage.

$50 or less:

• Bungee cords

• Ground anchor systems

• Radios (two-way or weather band; powered by battery, solar or hand-crank)

• Ratchet straps

• Tarps

• Tie-down kits

• Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths and other flexible waterproof sheeting

$750 or less:

• Portable generators

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