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California Sales Tax Holiday Proposed


 San Francisco, 1906.

More than a dozen states offer some kind of tax-free period on an annual basis, but most of those states are located on the East Coast or in the Midwest. Sales tax holidays are rare in the western states. California Assembly Member Young Kim is seeking to change that with a sales and use tax holiday for disaster preparedness supplies.

AB 1562, introduced January 4, 2016, would exempt from sales and use tax “qualified disaster preparedness products sold or purchased during a 2-day period beginning at 12:01 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday in October, 2017, and ending at 12:00 midnight the following Sunday.” Eligible products would include flashlights, first aid kits, ice chests, and water purification systems.

Raise awareness

California is no stranger to natural disasters. Ms. Kim’s legislation states that a sales tax holiday would not only make essential disaster preparedness supplies a bit more affordable — it would “raise awareness of the need for California residents to be ready for emergencies and natural disasters such as storms or earthquakes.” As the bill notes, “Preparing for emergencies and storms today can save lives and property in the event of a disaster.”

The state “would not reimburse local agencies for sales and use tax revenues lost by them pursuant to this bill.”

Sales tax holidays can create a compliance nightmare. Sales tax software (SaaS) can help. Learn how it works.


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.