News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Emergency Gear Is Tax Free This Weekend: From Plastic Sheeting To Portable Generators

Marcin Wichary

For many Texas families, tax-free shopping is a back-to-school tradition. This weekend, swap those folders for flashlights and binders for batteries. Emergency supplies are tax exempt starting Saturday morning.

It’s a first for Texas-- to help folks stock up for severe weather season. Families intent on cleaning out the hardware store should check the state’s “tax free” list before they buy.

In the last four months, Texans have endured deadly tornadoes, massive hailstorms and catastrophic flooding. People in the Lone Star State have no choice but to take severe weather seriously. Which is why lawmakers decided to make getting prepared a tax holiday.

“Anyone who’s lived through a Texas spring knows that this weather isn’t getting more predictable, so we really are hoping folks get out there and take advantage of this weekend,” says Chris Bryan with the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

But not every supply is tax-free. Here are some highlights:

Tax Exempt:

  • Generators (less than $3,000)
  • Hurricane shutters (less than $300)
  • Emergency ladders (less than $300)
  • Batteries (less than $75)
  • Flashlights (less than $75)
  • Smoke detectors (less than $75)
  • Cell phone batteries/chargers (less than $75)
  • Hatchets (less than $75)

There's no limit on number of purchases.
NOT Tax Exempt:

  • Chainsaws
  • Car/Boat batteries
  • Plywood
  • Camp stoves
  • Stepladders
  • Tents

See the complete list here. If you want to learn how to build a tornado kit with our interactive checklist, check this out.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.