The scourge of Winter Storm Uri is a brutal reminder for Houstonians to be prepared for the most extreme weather — and subsequent power outages. (Houston, as CultureMap reported, bore the worst of the storm.)
To that end, a major tax break will help locals do just that.
Those who purchase emergency supplies can enjoy no sales tax on those items, per the Texas Comptroller’s Office. The sales tax exemptions run from 12:01 am Saturday, April 24 through midnight on Monday, April 26.
Shoppers who aren’t looking forward to braving long lines are in luck: products bought online, by phone, mail, or custom order also qualify for the exemption, per a comptroller’s office statement.
Here is a breakdown of equipment and supplies eligible for the tax break, per the office:
Less than $3000
- Portable generators
Less than $300
- Emergency ladders
- Hurricane shutters
Less than $75
- 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
- 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
Notably, protective items such as face masks, gloves, and other pieces of personal protection equipment do not qualify for the exemption.
A full list of what is and is not covered under the law can be found here; additional information is available via phone at 1-800-252-5555.