Emergency items go tax-free

Published 7:56 pm Monday, July 30, 2018

Tax-free weekend in Virginia is typically associated with back-to-school shopping, but the sales tax holiday also applies to plenty of hurricane and emergency preparedness items.

The sales tax holiday will take place from Aug. 3-5, and with hurricane season about to ramp up into its busiest period, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management recommends taking advantage of the holiday for items that can be helpful during an emergency, according to a press release.

“Preparing your home, business and family for emergencies, including natural disasters, is vital to a sustainable recovery. Virginians should have an emergency communication plan and assemble and maintain an emergency kit before disaster strikes,” VDEM State Coordinator Jeff Stern said in a press release. “The annual sales tax holiday is an opportunity for residents to make tax-free emergency preparedness purchases that prepare Virginians for disasters and assists them with recovery.”

Email newsletter signup

While a plethora of items are eligible for the sales tax holiday, some items are restricted by price. Items have to be under a certain price point to be considered eligible.

Eligible items that are $60 or less:

  • Flashlights
  • Weather band radios
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • First aid kits
  • Non-electric food storage coolers

Eligible items that are $1,000 or less:

  • Portable generators
  • Generator power cords
  • Inverters and inverter power cables
  • Photovoltaic devices that generate electricity

School supplies that are $20 or less, and clothing and footwear that are $100 or less, are also eligible, as are EnergyStar and WaterSense products sold for $2,500 or less per item.

A full list of eligible items can be found on the VDEM website, www.vaemergency.gov/tax-free.