This week, Virginians are encouraged to prepare for hurricane season. Virginia has declared May 25 through May 31 as Hurricane and Flood Preparedness Week. According to Governor Terry McAuliffe’s statement, he encourages every resident to prepare. “I hope every Virginian will take action and make use of the Hurricane Preparedness Tax Holiday to get ready for the storms that we know will come our way this year.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced yesterday that it anticipates three-to-five hurricanes to hit this season, and one or two “major” hurricanes. The National Weather Service is anticipating a “below normal” hurricane season, but NWS scientists are still urging caution.
Individuals and families should have an emergency kit of supplies, starting with three days’ of bottled water and non-perishable food; a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio with extra batteries to hear emergency information. Other items to include are flashlights and extra batteries, a first aid kit and an extra supply of prescription medicines. A written family emergency plan is also important. For more information on making a family plan and putting together an emergency supply kit, go to www.ReadyVirginia.gov.
The following is a list of qualifying items.
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS SALES TAX HOLIDAY APPENDIX — LIST OF QUALIFYING ITEMS May 25 – May 31
Sales Price of $60 or less The following hurricane preparedness items may be purchased exempt of the Retail Sales and Use Tax during the “Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday,” provided that such items have a selling price of $60 or less per item.
• Artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs and reusable ice
• Batteries (excluding automobile or boat batteries), including o AAA cell o AA cell o C cell o D cell o 6 volt o 9 volt o Cell phone batteries
• Any portable self-powered light sources including o Flashlights o Lanterns o Glow sticks
•Tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting
• Bungee cords, rope
• Ground anchor systems or tie down kits
• Ratchet straps
• Duct tape
• Carbon monoxide detectors • Smoke detectors • Fire extinguishers
• Gas or diesel fuel tanks or containers
• Water storage containers
• Nonelectric food storage coolers
• Bottled water
• Manual can openers
• Portable self-powered radios (including self-powered radios with electrical power capability) • Two-way radios • Weather band radios and NOAA weather radios
• Storm shutter devices
• Cell phone chargers
• First Aid Kits
Sales Price of $1,000 or less
The following hurricane preparedness items may be purchased exempt of the Retail Sales and Use Tax during the “Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday,” provided that such items have a selling price of $1000 or less per item.
• Portable generators and generator power cords
• Inverters and inverter power cables
For the 2014 Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday period and all subsequent periods, gas-powered chain saws with a selling price of $350 or less and chain saw accessories with a sales price of $60 or less may be purchased exempt of the Retail Sales and Use Tax.
The following is an all-inclusive list of the items that are deemed “chain saw accessories”: • Chains • Chain saw bar and nose lubricants • Two-cycle motor oil • Chain sharpeners and files • Bars • Wrenches • Carrying cases and scabbards • Safety apparel, including chaps, gloves, hearing protectors, helmets, and protective glasses • Repair parts
The Virginia Department of Taxation’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday Guidelines and Rules are available online at http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=HurricanePreparednessEquipmentHoliday.
For additional information on hurricane preparation, visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management website at www.vaemergency.gov.