Virginia Tax Holiday Encourages Emergency Preparedness

isabel_starfishVirginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday starts today (May 25th) and runs through Memorial Day (May 31st). The initiative is an incentive for Virginia residents to have essential items on hand in their homes and businesses so they will be prepared in the event of an emergency. While it’s rare for hurricanes to impact Clarke County, flooding is a very real threat and residents can take advantage of the annual sales tax holiday to stock up on emergency preparations.   The holiday covers an array of items from portable generators, batteries, duct tape and dozens of other items.

Speaking on the statewide initiative Governor McDonnell. said, “It is critical that every Virginian treat hurricane season seriously and understand how they could be affected by flooding, high winds and tornadoes during this time of year.” adding that, “Everyone should take steps now to help keep their families safe.”

During the Tax Holiday, no sales tax will be charged on the purchase of many items that can be used to prepare homes and businesses for hurricane and flood season and to fill emergency supply kits.   All retailers must participate, according to Virginia law.

The list of eligible items includes:

Hurricane Isabel made a direct sourse for Virginia in 2003

Hurricane Isabel made a direct course for Virginia in 2003

Items for $60 or less
Shop for items in this list that have a sales price of $60 or less:

• Artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs and reusable ice
• Batteries (excluding automobile or boat batteries)

  • AAA, AA, C and D size
  • 6- or 9-volt
  • Cell phone batteries

• Any battery-powered light sources ,including flashlights, lanterns and glow sticks — no candles
• Tarpaulins, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths and other flexible waterproof sheeting
• Bungee cords and rope
• Ground anchor systems or tie down kits
• Ratchet straps
• Duct tape
• Carbon monoxide detectors
• Smoke detectors
• Fire extinguishers
• Empty gas, propane or diesel fuel tanks or containers
• Water storage containers, including buckets, barrels, canteen, cans, cooler
• Nonelectric food storage coolers
• Bottled water, any size and number of bottles, including flavored, carbonated and vitamin water
• Manual can openers
• Battery-powered or hand-crank radios (including radios with an electrical power option)
• Two-way radios
• Weather band radios and NOAA Weather Radios
• Storm shutter devices that are made, rated and marketed specifically for the prevention of storm damage to windows — no plywood
• Cell phone chargers
• First aid kits

Items for $1,000 or less
Shop for items in this list that have a sales price of $1,000 or less:

• Portable generators and generator power cords
• Inverters and inverter power cables

The Virginia Department of Taxation’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday Guidelines and Rules are available online at For detailed information about how to prepare your family for hurricanes and other emergencies, visit