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April 30, 2007

... From the Office of the Governor

Contact: Erin Isaac (850) 488-5394

Governor Crist Announces Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

~ Provides tax break on disaster supplies June 1 through June 12, 2007 ~

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Charlie Crist today signed into law House Bill 211 establishing a sales tax holiday from June 1 through June 12, 2007, for hurricane preparedness items.

"I urge all Floridians to take advantage of the Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday so that every person is prepared for the possibility of a storm," said Governor Crist. "We have learned from experience that prepared residents and communities are key to surviving and recovering from hurricanes or other natural disasters."

Legislative sponsors Senator Carey Baker (R-Eustis) and Representative Peter Nehr (R-Tarpon Springs) and Department of Emergency Management Director Craig Fugate joined the Governor for the bill signing. Governor Crist thanked the Legislature and urged all Floridians to prepare for the 2007 Hurricane Season by taking advantage of the third annual sales tax holiday. The holiday is expected to save Floridians almost $25 million in sales taxes.

"As public awareness of this tax holiday continues to grow, we are encouraging Florida retailers to prepare for even greater demand than last year," said Governor Crist. "While we hope for a quiet hurricane season, the tax holiday will help give Floridians the opportunity to be prepared for any possibility."

Florida Retail Federation officials and major retailers are helping inform Floridians about the tax holiday in order to promote a culture of preparedness. Representatives from Lowe's, Home Depot, Publix and Winn Dixie attended the bill signing.

"Recent history shows us that hurricanes can impact every Floridian," said Director Craig Fugate of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. "I challenge all residents to get a plan and prepare now."

Governor Crist encouraged all Floridians to update their disaster plans and to use the tax holiday during the first 12 days of June as an opportunity to restock their disaster supply kits. Chris Floyd of the American Red Cross attended the bill signing and displayed examples of tax exempt items. Below are a few examples of items that will be exempt during the sales tax holiday.

  • Flashlights and other portable, self-powered light sources — $20 or less
  • Portable radios, two-way radios and weather-band radios — $75 or less
  • Tarps — $50 or less
  • Gas or diesel fuel containers — $25 or less
  • Batteries — $30 or less (AAA, AA, C and D cell, and 6 and 9 volt batteries)
  • Non-electrical food storage coolers — $30 or less
  • Portable generators — $1,000 or less
  • Carbon monoxide detectors — $75 or less
  • Storm shutter devices — $200 or less

For more information on the 2007 Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday or to find information on building a customized family or business disaster plan, please visit www.FloridaDisaster.org or www.myflorida.com.