These emergency supplies will be tax-free in Texas April 24-26

Supplies bought online, by phone or by mail will also be tax-free

FILE - This Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, file photo shows power lines in Houston. When an unusually heavy winter storm blanketed much of Texas with snow, knocking out electricity to millions of homes and leaving many struggling to find clean water, one sector of the population was particularly vulnerable: inmates in Houston at the state's largest county jail. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – To help Texans prepare for possible violent spring storms and the upcoming hurricane season, Texas will have a tax holiday for emergency supplies this month.

The sales tax holiday for emergency supplies, which is held every spring, will be April 24-26.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminded Texans that the tax holiday could help them stock up on crucial supplies. The event is expected to save shoppers $1.8 million in state and local sales taxes.

“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,” Hegar said.

These emergency preparation supplies will qualify for the tax exemption:

  • Less than $3,000: Portable generators.
  • Less than $300: Emergency ladders and 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 include candles, flashlights and lanterns); mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers; radios including two-way and weather band radios; smoke detectors; tarps and other plastic sheeting.

These emergency preparation supplies will not qualify for the tax exemption:

  • Medical masks and face masks.
  • Cleaning supplies, such as disinfectants and bleach wipes.
  • Gloves, including leather, fabric, latex and types used in healthcare.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles.
  • Camping stoves or camping supplies.
  • Chainsaws.
  • Plywood.
  • Extension ladders.
  • Stepladders.
  • Tents.
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies; or services performed on or related to emergency preparation supplies.

The Texas Comptroller’s Office said self-care items like antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray and wipes are always exempt from sales tax but they need to be labeled with the “Drug Facts” panel.

There is no limit to the number of emergency supplies that may be purchased. Supplies purchased online, by mail or over the telephone will also be tax-free if paid for during the exemption period.

Emergency supplies have been on the minds of Texans throughout the coronavirus pandemic and following the deadly winter storm in February that left millions of people without power during frigid conditions.

Just this week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, asked Texans to conserve energy due to “a combination of high generation outages typical in April” and demand.

CPS Energy on Tuesday asked people to minimize non-emergency lighting and appliances and set thermostats 2 to 3 degrees higher.

On Wednesday, ERCOT said the power grid is under “tight” conditions but there will be no conservation appeal.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.