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Alabama Localities Prepare for 2016 Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

  • Sep 22, 2015 | Gail Cole

 Are you ready to sell qualifying emergency supplies tax-free?

The next Alabama sales tax holiday will take place from 12:01 a.m. Friday, February 22, 2016 to midnight, Sunday, February 28, 2016. During this fifth annual severe-weather preparedness sales tax holiday, Alabama state sales and use tax does not apply to a wide variety of emergency preparedness supplies. Local sales and use taxes may apply.

Localities must participate in the state sales tax holiday but may opt out of the tax-free period with respect to local sales and use tax. According to the Department of Revenue, “A county or municipality by resolution or ordinance adopted at least 30 days prior to the last full weekend of February, may provide for the exemption of ‘covered items’ from county or municipal sales or use taxes during the same time period, under the same terms, conditions, and definitions as provided for the state sales tax holiday.” The department periodically updates the list of local governments that have notified it of its intent to participate. That list is available here.


The exemption applies to the following items, provided they cost $60 or less per item:

  • AAA – D-cell batteries and 6 and 9-volt batteries
  • Artificial and blue ice; ice packs and reusable ice
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Cellular phone battery and charger
  • Duct tape
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit (self-contained)
  • Gas or diesel fuel tax or container
  • Ground anchor system (bungee cords, rope, tie-down kit)
  • Non-electric food storage cooler; water storage container
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Plastic drop cloths and sheeting; other flexible, waterproof sheeting
  • Plywood, window film, other materials designed to protect window coverings
  • Portable self-powered or battery-powered radio, two-way radio, weatherband radio, NOAA weather radio
  • Portable self-powered light source (flashlights, lanterns, emergency glow sticks)
  • Smoke detector

Also exempt: Any portable generator (with a sales price of $1000 or less) and power cords used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage. Additional information.

Businesses selling any of the above items in Alabama need to adjust point-of-sale systems accordingly. Automated sales tax software (SaaS) simplifies compliance, especially in states with tax-free periods. Learn how it works.

photo credit: Emergency x 2 via photopin (license)

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.