City of McAllen News

Rio Grande Valley Residents Encouraged to Get Ready, Save on Emergency Supplies

by Office of Communications | Apr 19, 2017

(McAllen, TX)  With the potential for severe weather approaching this spring, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminds Texans they can purchase certain items tax free during this weekend’s state’s sales tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies, April 22-24.


“Unfortunately, we can’t predict when the next fire, flood or tornado may strike,” Hegar said. “But we can be prepared, and this tax holiday helps Texans save money while stocking up for emergency situations before they happen.”


There's no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase. These include:

·         batteries, fuel containers and flashlights priced at less than $75;

·         hurricane shutters and emergency ladders priced at less than $300; and

·         portable generators priced at less than $3,000.

Purchases that do not qualify include:

·         batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles;  

·         camping stoves and camping supplies;

·         chainsaws;

·         plywood;

·         extension ladders and stepladders; and

·         tents


A list of emergency preparation supplies that may be purchased tax free can be found on the Comptroller’s website.


“I encourage residents throughout the Rio Grande Valley to take advantage of this opportunity to stock up on items and save on items that will help get them through a possible emergency situation,” said City of McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.  “The peace of mind that comes with being prepared should help alleviate some of the stress during those situations.  Additionally, reach out to the City of McAllen’s website for other tips on how to be prepared for any emergency situation.”  

The Comptroller’s Office estimates shoppers will save $1.5 million in state and local sales taxes during the tax holiday, approved by lawmakers during the 2015 Texas Legislature.

You can purchase certain emergency preparation supplies tax free during the 2017 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday. There is no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase, and you do not need to issue an exemption certificate to claim the exemption.

This year’s holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 24.


These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price:

  • Less than $3000
    • Portable generators
  • Less than $300
    • Emergency ladders
    • Hurricane shutters
  • Less than $75
    • Axes
    • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
    • Can openers - nonelectric
    • Carbon monoxide detectors
    • Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
    • Fire extinguishers
    • First aid kits
    • Fuel containers
    • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
    • Hatchets
    • Ice products - reusable and artificial
    • Light sources - portable self-powered (including battery operated)
      • Examples of items include: candles, flashlights and lanterns
    • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
    • Radios - portable self-powered (including battery operated) - includes two-way and weather band radios
    • Smoke detectors
    • Tarps and other plastic sheeting


These supplies DO NOT qualify for tax exemption:

  • Batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves
  • Camping supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Plywood
  • Extension ladders
  • Stepladders
  • Tents
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on, or related to, emergency preparation supplies


Additional Charges Affect Purchase Price

Delivery, shipping, handling and transportation charges are part of the sales price. If the emergency preparation supply being purchased is taxable, the delivery charge is also taxable. Consider these charges when determining whether an emergency preparation supply can be purchased tax free during the holiday.

For example, you purchase a rescue ladder for $299 with a $10 delivery charge, for a total sales price of $309. Because the total sales price of the ladder is more than $300, tax is due on the $309 sales price.

For more information, contact us at Tax Help, or call 1-800-252-5555.

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