PHOTO BY MARÍA CAMP

Tax-free weekend provides opportunity to be prepared

Alabama’s annual severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday is approaching, and we think it’s a must-not-miss opportunity to make sure you’re prepared for whatever comes – like tornado season, which is unfortunately upon us once more.  

Alabama’s 13th severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 23 and ends at midnight Feb. 25, allowing Alabama shoppers to stock up state tax free on common supplies costing less than $60 that every home and business needs to prepare for a natural disaster or even a general emergency.  

So what kinds of items can you acquire without paying state sales tax this weekend?  

Shoppers can pick up many kinds of batteries, for one example. Other eligible items include weather radios, flashlights and lanterns, tarps and plastic sheeting, plywood, other items for protecting windows in storms, bungee cords, duct tape, ice chests, coolers, various kinds of ice packs and first aid kits.  

Tornados aren’t the only emergency or disaster for which you might want to be more prepared. Also included in the sales tax holiday are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers, as well as portable generators and cords costing $1,000 or less.  

It just makes good sense to take advantage of this tax holiday. You can not only save a little money but potentially save yourself, your children or your property in the event of a catastrophe.  

We have all seen the damage and destruction a tornado can cause. Even straight-line winds without tornadic activity can take down trees and power lines.  

If that happens, do you have the items on hand you will need to get through it with relatively low discomfort or inconvenience? 

We’ve also seen the damage an out-of-control fire can do to a home or business, and local fire departments frequently promote the importance of having the right tools on hand to mitigate what can be a life-threatening, total loss situation. 

This is one of only two tax-free weekends the state offers each year, the other being for back to school. Let’s not miss this opportunity. 

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