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Severe weather items go tax free Feb. 26-28

From Feb. 26-28, Alabama will observe the state’s 10th annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.

The Alabama Retail Association encourages Alabamians to restock emergency supplies in homes, workplaces and vehicles during this three-day tax holiday. Certain emergency preparedness items will be exempt from the state’s 4-percent state sales tax, and in some cities and counties, local taxes are waived on those items as well.

Franklin County and all county municipalities are participating.

From 12:01 a.m. Feb. 26 to midnight Feb. 28, the tax-exempt items include the following priced at $60 or less:

–Flashlights

–Lanterns

–Battery-powered or hand-crank radios

–Batteries, excluding coin batteries and car or boat batteries

–First-aid kits

–Cell phone chargers

–Two-way radios

–Manual can openers

–Tarps and plastic sheeting

–Duct tape

–Fire extinguishers

–Tie-down kits, bungee cords and rope

Other tax-free items include coolers, ice packs, plywood, window film and smoke/fire/carbon monoxide detectors. Portable generators and power cords costing $1,000 or less are also tax free.

“Severe weather can occur at any time, in any season,” said Alabama Retail President Rick Brown. “The tax holiday helps Alabama consumers remember to stock and prepare emergency kits to be ready when storms strike.”

The tax holiday caps Severe Weather Awareness Week, declared by Gov Kay Ivey for Feb. 21-26. The purpose of the observance, as stated by the National Weather Service, is to “provide people with the knowledge necessary to protect their lives when severe weather threatens.”

In her proclamation recognizing Severe Weather Awareness Week, Ivey noted the suffering Alabamians have experienced from severe weather events, specifically recalling the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak.

This tornadic event, almost 10 years ago, devastated Franklin County.

According to Ivey’s proclamation, Alabama ranks No. 1 in the nation in average annual tornado fatalities.

“Our citizens are our greatest resource,” the proclamation adds. “Increased public awareness and public education regarding severe weather preparedness can decrease the number of lives lost from deadly storms.”

The NWS is sharing information on combating threats such as severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, lighting, flash floods and hail. For more information visit www.weather.gov/mob/severe_alabama.

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