Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court, Richmond, VA 23236
Joel Davison (Department of Taxation) — (804) 786-3507
Bob Spieldenner (VDEM) — (804) 897-6510
FOR RELEASE AT WILL – May 8, 2008
Prepare for the Hurricane Season by Shopping for Tax-Exempt Generators, Supplies
— Virginia’s Third Sales Tax Holiday is May 25-31 —
RICHMOND, VA — To many Virginians the names Isabel, Floyd and Camille recall very unpleasant memories. And we all remember the devastation that Katrina caused in New Orleans and other areas in 2005.
These hurricanes and others remind us that it’s smart to be prepared when hurricane season arrives on June 1. Beginning this year, consumers can take advantage of a tax break when shopping for such products as generators, batteries, food-storage containers, first aid kits and even bottled water.
For the period Sunday, May 25, through Saturday, May 31, Virginia will hold its first Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. During the weeklong event, certain purchases will be exempt from the 5 percent state and local retail sales tax. Sales tax will not be charged on generators costing $1,000 or less, or on 22 other products selling for $60 or less each.
The “holiday,” approved by the 2007 General Assembly, will take place each year during the last week of May through 2012 after which the holiday is scheduled to expire. Virginia already has a sales tax holiday for school supplies and clothing in August, and another for energy-efficient appliances and products in October.
Information on the hurricane-preparedness holiday for both consumers and retailers is available on the Department of Taxation’s Web site at tax.virginia.gov. This includes policy guidelines for the tax holiday and a list of products that will be exempt from the sales tax during the week of the holiday. The agency’s Sales Tax Holiday Information Center also includes information on the other two sales tax holidays.
“As we’ve seen time and again, including recently with several tornadoes hitting the state, weather can be very unpredictable and end up causing a lot of damage and hardship,” said Tax Commissioner Janie E. Bowen. “Virginians should seriously consider equipping themselves for the upcoming hurricane season, and saving the 5 percent in the process is an added bonus.”
In addition to the exempt items, retailers may also choose to pay the sales tax themselves on any nonexempt items they sell from May 25-31 and pass the 5 percent savings on to customers.
Michael Cline, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said: “All Virginians should take advantage of this tax-free opportunity to stock up on supplies they would need to make it through an emergency. Hurricane season starts June 1, and we should all be prepared.”
Be ready. Be willing to help.
Virginia Disaster Relief Fund
How is the money distributed?
Fund proceeds will be distributed to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other non-profit and faith-based organizations as a grant.
Many of these groups work directly with individuals and families following a disaster.
How else can I donate?
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund benefits projects that include: repair or rebuilding of underinsured dwellings, transportation assistance, replacing essential household items, helping renters establish new rental residence, temporary living expenses while recovering from loss, and more.
How can I donate?
If you want to help, send checks made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line to:
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971