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Annual sales tax holiday is this weekend

Virginia’s annual sales tax holiday is often associated with back-to-school shopping purchases but the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) encourages all Virginians to print, review and use the VDEM sales tax holiday checklist. Many hurricane and emergency preparedness products are eligible for tax-free savings; therefore residents should take this opportunity to make tax-free purchases that will assist them when responding to an emergency or disaster. The three-day sales tax holiday starts August 3 at 12:01 a.m., and ends August 5 at 11:59 p.m.

Items to help Virginians prepare for and recover from all hazards, including hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes include: batteries, excluding automobile or boat batteries; battery-operated or self-powered light sources such as flashlights, lanterns or glow sticks; radios, portable, battery-operated or self- powered radios (including self-powered radios with electrical capability), two-way radios, weather band radios and NOAA weather radios; miscellaneous items such as, tarps, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting; bungee cords, rope and paracords; ground anchor systems or tie-down kits; ratchet straps, duct tape, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, gas or diesel fuel tanks or containers, bottled water and containers, non-reusable water packets, artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs and reusable ice, non-electric food storage coolers, manual can openers, storm shutter devices, cell phone chargers and first aid kits; gas-powered chain saws with a sales price of $350 or less and chain saw accessories with a sales price of $60 or less including: chains, bars and wrenches; chain saw bar and nose lubricants; two-cycle motor oil; chain sharpeners and files; carrying cases and scabbards; safety apparel, including chaps, gloves, hearing protectors, helmets and protective glasses and repair parts; portable generators, generator power cords, inverters and inverter power cables, photovoltaic devices that generate electricity or any items affixed with an Energy Star or WaterSense label, with a sales price of $2,500 or less and purchased for noncommercial use are eligible.

“Preparing your home, business and family for emergencies, including natural disasters, is vital to a sustainable recovery. Virginians should have an emergency communication plan, and assemble and maintain an emergency kit before disaster strikes,” said VDEM State Coordinator Jeff Stern. “The annual sales tax holiday is an opportunity for residents to make tax-free emergency preparedness purchases that prepare Virginians for disasters and assists them with recovery.”