Tropical Storm Alberto this week provided an early glimpse of what the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season could have in store for Florida over the next six months. While Alberto didn’t pose much of a threat, state leaders are still urging Floridians to get prepared.
June 1 marks the official start of the hurricane season. It also marks the start of this year’s hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday.
This year’s tax holiday runs through June 7. It’s designed to encourage Floridians to prepare for the season by offering tax breaks on such hurricane supplies as flashlights, batteries and generators.
The week-long sales tax holiday is twice as long as last year’s event, but shorter than the three week-long events that were proposed by Gov. Rick Scott. The governor wanted to give Floridians ample time to take advantage of the tax break following the 2017 hurricane season, which saw Hurricane Irma wreak havoc on much of the state.
The sales tax holiday was eventually set at eight days following the February school shootings in Parkland. State lawmakers were forced to focus on school safety and redirected millions of dollars from budget items like the sales tax holidays to security improvements at public schools.
“While we always hope for the best, Florida families need to be prepared for anything,” said Scott when he signed the sales tax holiday into law earlier this year. “Everyone should have a family disaster kit with supplies and medications, be prepared to evacuate if advised to do so by emergency management officials, know your evacuation route and where you can take your pets if you have to shelter, and have all of your important documents and cash together to take with you.”
Among the items covered by the sales tax holiday on hurricane supplies are generators under $750, radios under $50, gas tanks under $25, batteries and coolers under $30, and waterproof sheeting under $25.
For a complete list of items that are covered by the sales tax holiday, click here.