Stock up next week

Published 10:08 pm Saturday, May 22, 2010

Those looking to stock up on batteries, flashlights and duct tape will be able to do so tax-free this week.

Virginia’s annual sales tax holiday on hurricane preparedness supplies will be held May 25-31. Consumers can stock up on a number of supplies typically needed during severe storms without having to pay state sales tax, and retailers also are permitted to absorb the tax on other items during the same period.

“We sure hope to anticipate some extra traffic,” Mike Barnes, operations manager at Lowe’s in Suffolk, said Friday. “We have generators, batteries, things of that nature that will help you through the upcoming season. We have displays up throughout the store and getting prepared. That stuff will stay up right on through when the season ends.”

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Barnes said last year’s tax-free week brought some extra traffic to the store.

“You definitely get folks searching and looking for those items,” he said. “Things do tend to pick up a little bit.”

The tax-free week makes for a good opportunity to purchase expensive items like generators without the added burden of paying tax. Portable generators and generator power cords, inverters and inverter power cables with a price of $1,000 or less will be exempted from state sales tax during the seven-day period.

All other items exempted must have a price of $60 or less. They include:

Artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs and reusable ice

Batteries, excluding automobile or boat batteries but including AAA, AA, C, D, 6-volt, 9-volt and cell phone batteries

Any portable self-powered light sources, including flashlights, battery-operated lanterns and glow sticks

Portable self-powered radios, including those with electrical power capability

Two-way radios

Weather band radios and NOAA weather radios

Tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths and other flexible waterproof sheeting

Bungee cords


Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits

Ratchet straps

Duct tape

Carbon monoxide or smoke detectors

Fire extinguishers

Gas or diesel fuel tanks or containers

Water storage containers

Nonelectric food storage coolers

Bottled water, including flavored and carbonated

Manual or battery-operated can openers

Storm shutter devices

Cell phone chargers

First aid kits

For more information on the tax holiday, visit