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Florida’s tax-free shopping event: Stock up on storm supplies

With hurricane season 2021 looming, Florida is offering residents an opportunity to purchase eligible storm supplies without having to pay state sales tax.

Mark your calendars for Florida’s tax-free event, which starts this Friday, May 28, and goes through Sunday, June 6.

Our state sales tax is 6 percent, which means $6 per $100 purchase. Local taxes likely also are included in the tax-free total.

Be aware that Florida’s tax-free event is for eligible items only, purchased in store or online. (And, usually, specific price points are required for tax-exempt status to apply.) 

“Qualifying items purchased by mail order, catalog, or through the internet are exempt when the order is accepted by the mail-order company during the sales tax holiday period for immediate shipment, even if delivery is made after the sales tax holiday period,” a  Florida Department of Revenue spokeswoman said.

Examples include:

  • Flashlights and other eligible lights $40 or less
  • Eligible batteries $50 or less
  • Portable generators $1,000 or less
  • Reusable ice packs $20 or less
  • Coolers $60 or less
  • Radios $50 or less
  • Ratchet straps $100 or less
  • Bungee cords $100 or less

Other items include tie-down kits, tarps and waterproof sheeting, $100 or less. First aid kits are always exempt from sales tax.

For more information on this tax event, click here.

How to prepare (without spending too much)

South Floridians have learned the hard way to take hurricanes seriously. When we get complacent, another storm comes and reminds us of the importance of hurricane preparation and supplies.

You should take preparing for a hurricane seriously — but you shouldn’t buy a lot of things you’re never going to use. Palm Beach County has an online hurricane guide that may be downloaded, with information about evacuation, preparation and storm recovery.

The key to smart hurricane preparedness is to be ready without spending too much money. Hint: Avoid lines at stores if you shop online, but make sure your items can be shipped in time. An approaching storm can also delay shipping.

For 10 things to do to prepare for a hurricane, click here.

Hurricane prep for pets: Do you have your supplies?

Miami-Dade Animal Services wants to know: How’s your emergency storm prep going? Do you have all your pet supplies?

The start of the season is in June, so the county agency reminds residents to “always include your furry family members in your storm plans!”

When planning an emergency kit, pet owners are urged to consider the pet’s basic needs, including prescriptions and important paperwork. For more information, click here


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Living on the CheapMiami on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap.

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