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Alabama Governor Proposes Tax Holiday for Severe Weather Items

In a move that is sure to garner more than a few votes, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has outlined new legislation that would provide for a sales tax holiday on all items related to severe weather and water damage preparedness.

“A sales tax holiday will promote readiness by giving people an extra incentive to stock up on supplies that will be needed during and after severe weather,” Governor Bentley said.  “The sales tax holiday was one of the key recommendations of my Tornado Recovery Action Council, and I urge the Alabama Legislature to approve the holiday as soon as possible.”

The recently filed legislation would provide for a given weekend during which severe weather and water damage items could be purchased with no sales tax, with counties and municipalities being able to remove their own local taxes as well.

Among the items covered under the new proposal are:

•    Several types of batteries, including cell phone batteries and chargers
•    Battery-powered radios
•    NOAA weather radios
•    Flashlights, lanterns, and emergency glow sticks
•    First aid kits
•    Duct tape
•    Plywood
•    Portable generators
•    Gas or Diesel fuel containers
•    Tarpaulins and plastic sheeting
•    Any non-electric food storage cooler or water storage container
•    Non-electric can openers
•    Any artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs, or reusable ice
•    Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors
•    Ground anchor systems such as cords or rope or tie-down kits

For an item to be covered it must cost $60 or less, the one notable exception being generators which have a $1000 limit.

Severe weather events, including the tornadoes of 2011 that caused widespread damage and killed 239 people, were the springboard for the legislation.  By encouraging people to become better prepared, hopefully such a disaster could be averted in the future.

Water damage restoration should always begin as soon as possible following a severe weather event in order to prevent any future, long term issues.


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