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Alabama prepares for natural disasters


 A sales tax holiday for severe weather preparedness.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, landslides … so far this year, natural disasters have hit the south hard. There are federally declared disaster areas in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. Alabama has been fortunate this fall to be passed over by severe weather.

But it’s good to be prepared for any eventuality. Each February, Alabama holds a severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday to encourage residents to purchase supplies that will help them weather storms. In 2017, the tax-free period runs from 12:01 a.m. on Friday, February 24 to midnight on Sunday, February 2016. During that time, state sales tax will not apply to many preparedness items, such as many batteries, duct tape, fire extinguishers, plastic sheeting, reusable ice, and tarpaulins.

Local sales tax may or may not apply. Counties and municipalities may provide for the exemption by ordinance or resolution adopted at least 30 days prior to the start of the tax-free period. Those that do must follow the state sales tax holiday guidelines. The Alabama Department of Revenue keeps a running list of participating localities here. Additional information about the Alabama severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday is available here.

The Alabama Department of Revenue is also offering tax relief to residents of federally declared disaster areas in many nearby states. Additional information.

Sales tax holidays are a great opportunity for consumers to shop without sales tax, yet they complicate compliance for businesses. Tax automation software simplifies sales and use tax compliance in all states, at all times. Learn more.


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.