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Attention shoppers: Sales tax holiday approaches

Thursday, April 16, 2020 by Tai Moses

Sheltering at home during the Covid-19 pandemic has turned many people into avid shoppers (or hoarders, in some cases). Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar wants to put that shopping impulse to better use by offering a sales tax holiday for emergency preparation supplies. What could be more welcome? Sales tax holidays were established to help Texans prepare for things like hurricanes and other extreme weather events. Even though we may have our minds on a different kind of crisis right now, Hegar reminds us that “strong spring storms, wildfires and the upcoming hurricane season will still threaten Texans in the months ahead, and so it’s important that homes and businesses have the supplies they need to face these emergencies.” There’s no limit on the number of items you can buy, but only certain items qualify; for instance, batteries and flashlights priced at less than $75; hurricane shutters and emergency ladders that cost less than $300; and portable generators under $3,000. The comptroller adds, somewhat ruefully, that “the list of tax-free items is established by law and does not include items such as masks or personal protection equipment.” He urges people to shop online or observe strict social distancing procedures for in-store purchases. A complete list of items that qualify – and items that don’t – can be found here. For online purchases, the shipping cost is considered part of the sales price. The sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, and ends at midnight on Monday, April 27.

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