Governor Rick Scott today announced a 15-day sales tax holiday for hurricane preparedness supplies as of part his 2014-2015 “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget.” The proposed sales tax holiday will begin June 1 and run through June 14, 2014, and will cover hurricane preparation supplies, such as flashlights, batteries, weather radios, and other basic items that are essential to building a disaster supply kit.

Governor Scott said, “This 15-day sales tax holiday will help Florida families prepare for hurricane season and let them keep more than $20 million. This tax holiday will allow families to better protect and safeguard their homes during a storm.”

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 – November 30. For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org.  Follow the Florida Department of Emergency Management on Twitter at @FLSERT and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

Bryan W. Koon, Director of the Florida Director of Emergency Management said, “By providing this tax free holiday, Governor Scott is confirming his dedication to the safety of the state’s residents and visitors, and we thank him for his support. All Floridians should take this opportunity to restock their disaster supply kits and develop emergency plans for their families and businesses. By taking the time to prepare today, we can work together to save lives and property in the event of a disaster.”

Rick McAllister, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation said, “Floridians have learned many times that we must always be prepared to be self-reliant in the event of a major storm. A tax break is a great way to make readiness supplies more affordable for families, and the sales tax holiday will be a good opportunity for retailers to help raise awareness of the need for Florida’s residents to be ready for storms and other emergencies.”

David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce said, “Having a plan and being prepared makes all the difference when it comes to weathering a storm in Florida. Governor Scott’s hurricane sales tax holiday will encourage more Floridians to prepare for future storms, and it will go a long way towards ensuring Floridians are safe. Governor Scott’s hurricane sales tax holiday proposal is a win for Florida families and a win for Florida’s small businesses.”

Curt Sommerhoff, Emergency Management Director of the Miami Emergency Operation Center said, “For the past three years our preparedness message has included budget friendly tips for increasing citizens’ spending power. That, now, coupled with the Governor’s Tax Free initiative gives people a tremendous incentive for preparing that disaster kit that is an absolute necessity during hurricane season, and really all year long.”

Jesus Guzman, President of Shell Lumber & Hardware said, “Shell Lumber & Hardware applauds Governor Scott’s sales tax holiday for hurricane supplies. This sales tax holiday it will help Florida businesses, like Shell Lumber & Hardware, and supply Floridians with the things they need to be prepared.”

Shawn Blankenship, Senior Director of the The Home Depot Southern Division Field Operations said, “Just as The Home Depot plans and prepares for hurricane season, it’s critical that Florida residents do the same. In many states, we’ve seen tax holidays for hurricane preparedness serve as powerful incentives to accomplish this important safety goal.”

Scott Mason, Lowe’s Vice President of Government Affairs said, “As a proud member of the Florida business community with two regional distribution centers and 120 stores in the state, Lowe’s strongly supports this initiative and appreciates the Governor’s commitment to emergency preparedness. Natural disasters can be unpredictable, and this hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday will go a long way towards ensuring that Floridians are as prepared as they can be when disaster strikes. We are grateful for your recognition of the importance of disaster preparedness, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the State of Florida on this important issue.”

Maria Brous, Director of Media & Community Relations for Publix Super Markets said, “As a Florida-based retailer, we understand the importance of a culture of preparedness. We advocate for and support the importance of having key storm-ready items on hand at the start of hurricane season. We communicate this information in-store, online and throughout various community partnerships. The safety of our associates and customers is paramount to us at Publix and as your retailer of choice, we take the trust you’ve instilled in us very seriously. The sales tax holiday is one additional way we hope our communities we be storm ready in 2014.”

Some of the specific items in the Sales Tax Holiday include:

·         A portable self-powered light source selling for $20 or less

·         A portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio selling for $50 or less

·         A tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting selling for $50 or less

·         A self-contained first-aid kit selling for $30 or less

·         A ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less

·         A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less

·         A package of AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries, selling for $30 or less

·         A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less

·         A portable generator that is used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage selling for $750 or less

 

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