Be worry-free, tax-free: Get weekend discount on emergency gear


Highlights

Not every item the National Weather Service recommends for basic emergency kits qualifies for tax exemption.

Just because you can use camping equipment in an emergency, it doesn’t mean it will be tax-free this weekend.

Central Texas’ severe weather season is already underway, but this weekend the state of Texas is making it easier for youto start prepping for a disaster. Starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday until midnight Monday, you can buy certain emergency supplies tax-free.

The National Weather Service has a recommended list of items for a basic emergency kit — but not all of those things will be tax-free. Here’s how it breaks down:

Basic emergency kit items (Tax-free)

The total cost of these items (including delivery charges) must be less than $75:

• AAA, AA, C, D, 6-volt or 9-volt batteries

• Nonelectric can openers

• Fire extinguisher

• First-aid kits

• Flashlights, lanterns, candles

• Battery-powered radio or self-powered weather radio

• Plastic sheeting

Basic emergency kit items (NOT tax-free)

• Bottled water

• Nonperishable food

• Disinfectant wipes

• Toilet paper and bags with ties for personal sanitation

• Paper and pen or pencil

• Sleeping bags or blankets

• Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)

• Personal hygiene items (travel-size deodorant, cotton swabs, feminine items, etc.)

• Signal whistles

• Duct tape

• Baby formula and diapers

• Extra pet food

• Dust masks to help filter the air

• Rain gear

Other items eligible for tax exemption

These items (costing less than $75, unless otherwise stated) didn’t make the weather service’s list for basic supplies, but they’re also tax-exempt this weekend:

• Portable generators (costing less than $3,000)

• Emergency ladders (costing less than $300)

• Axes, hatchets

• Carbon monoxide detectors

• Coolers, nonelectric ice chests

• Fuel containers

• Ground anchor systems, tie-down kits

• Mobile phone batteries and chargers

• Smoke detectors

NOT tax-free nonemergency items

The tax exemptions don’t apply to everything that could be used in an emergency situation. You’ll still pay taxes on:

• Batteries for motorized vehicles

• Camp stoves

• Camping supplies

• Chainsaws

• Plywood

• Extension ladders

• Stepladders

• Tents



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

JUST IN: SWAT standoff ends in Northeast Austin
JUST IN: SWAT standoff ends in Northeast Austin

A SWAT standoff at a Northeast Austin house has ended, police said.  Police got a call about a disturbance at 7:56 p.m. in the 1100 block of Murron Drive. Police have taken the man who was inside the house into custody, police said.  Police declined to release further details about the SWAT standoff. 
Alleged car thief in Florida stops to buy welder’s mask to watch eclipse
Alleged car thief in Florida stops to buy welder’s mask to watch eclipse

The solar eclipse transfixed the nation Monday, from Donald Trump at the White House, to ordinary citizens across the country taking time out of their jobs to stop and view the celestial show. But perhaps it's best not to become too distracted by the eclipse, especially when you're being tailed by police, as one 22-year-old found out in Central...
Black Pflugerville group aims to combat local racism
Black Pflugerville group aims to combat local racism

More than 50 people gathered on Monday night at Abundant Life Church for a Black Pflugerville monthly community meeting, which aims to combat racism locally but focused on healing this time after the recent Charlottesville, Va., white supremacist rally that left three people dead and dozens injured. “Pflugerville is a growing and culturally diverse...
What is Trump’s plan for Afghanistan?
What is Trump’s plan for Afghanistan?

President Donald Trump spoke to the nation from Fort Myer on Monday night. “I am here tonight to lay out our path forward in Afghanistan and South Asia,” he said.  The United States “must seek an honorable and enduring outcome” worthy of the sacrifices that have been made. The consequences of a rapid exit are “both...
BASTROP FIRE: Royal Pines Fire now 100 percent contained
BASTROP FIRE: Royal Pines Fire now 100 percent contained

The Royal Pines fire near Bastrop is now 100 percent contained, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.  Officials declared the fire contained at 7 p.m., according to the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management. Expect smoke to linger in the area for a few more days. Crews will continue patrolling the area. The fire, which started around...
More Stories