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As Texans recover from the February winter storm, they should also prepare for future severe weather in a land that sees droughts, wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes practically every year. To help, the state is offering a tax-free weekend Saturday-Monday, April 24-26, for the purchase of emergency preparation supplies. It begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and ends at midnight Monday.

“While we can’t know when the next flood, tornado, or hurricane may strike, we can make sure our families, homes, and businesses have the supplies they need to face these and other emergencies,” Texas Comptroller Glen Hegar said. “This tax holiday can help Texans save money while stocking up for emergency situations.”

The Comptroller’s Office estimates shoppers will save more than $1.8 million in state and local sales taxes during the tax holiday, which was approved by the Texas Legislature in 2015.

There’s no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase, including:

  • household batteries, fuel containers, and flashlights priced at less than $75
  • hurricane shutters and emergency ladders priced at less than $300
  • portable generators priced at less than $3,000

A complete list of emergency preparation supplies that may be purchased tax-free can be found on the comptroller’s website.

Purchases that do not qualify include:

  • batteries for automobiles, boats, and other motorized vehicles
  • camping stoves, camping supplies, and tents
  • chain saws
  • plywood
  • extension ladders and stepladders

For online purchases, note that delivery, shipping, handling, and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation item being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. 

For example, if you purchase a rescue ladder for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, the total sales price is $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due.

Several over-the-counter self-care items, including antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, sprays, and wipes are always exempt from sales tax if they are labeled with a “Drug Facts” panel in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration regulations.