Stock up on batteries, more during emergency prep supplies tax holiday

Texans pay no sales tax on eligible items April 27-29

SAN ANTONIO – Just in time for spring storm season, Texans can buy batteries, phone chargers, some ice chests and more tax free during the state’s emergency preparation supplies sales tax holiday.

RELATED: What to include in your emergency supply kit

Spring skies over Texas can be fierce and wild with thunderstorms, hail and even tornadoes.

Patrick Chavez is ready at home and at work. 

“Of course, we get all of the necessities as far as weather is concerned or just any kind of disaster,” he said. 

There is no limit on the number of items purchased, but there are price limits for individual items. 

For example, generators that cost less than $3,000 are eligible for the tax freebie.

The list includes flashlights, batteries, lanterns and non-electric can openers -- things that come in handy when the power goes out.

Ice chests priced less than $75 are eligible, too.

“That’s another one because your refrigerator goes out and that’s something you can have handy so you can store food in there,” said Mario Gonzales, with The Home Depot on Fair Avenue.

These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:

Less than $3,000: 

  • Portable generators

Less than $300:

  • Emergency ladders
  • Hurricane shutters 

Less than $75: 

  • Axes
  • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
  • Can openers - nonelectric
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Coolers and ice chests for food storage -- nonelectric
  • Fire extinguishers
  • First aid kits
  • Fuel containers
  • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
  • Hatchets
  • Ice products - reusable and artificial
  • Light sources - portable self-powered (including battery operated)
    • Examples of items include candles, flashlights and lanterns
  • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
  • Radios - portable self-powered (including battery operated) - includes two-way and weather band radios
  • Smoke detectors
  • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:

  • Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves 
  • Camping supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Plywood
  • Extension ladders
  • Stepladders
  • Tents
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on or related to emergency preparation supplies

Additional charges affect purchase price.

Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday. 

Click here for more resources and information about emergency preparedness.


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