By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
The Alabama 2012 Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday began at midnight and will end on Sunday at midnight but not everyone is participating. While Act No. 2012-256 states that no state sales or use tax are due on items related to storm preparedness counties and cities were given the opportunity to participate by not collecting their portion of local sales taxes.
While 45 counties said they would waive their portion of sales tax for the weekend, 22 counties said no or had no response. Cities that said “no” or had no response outnumbered cities that agreed by more than half.
Larger cities that agreed include: Decatur, Fultondale, Gardendale, Homewood, Hoover, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa among others. Larger counties that agreed to participate are: Etowah, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, St. Clair and Talladega counties.
Jefferson County was the largest county to decline citing their current budget crisis. The majority of cities that decided not to participate were smaller municipalities.
But, some larger municipalities including Bessemer, Birmingham, Gadsden, Heflin and Muscle Shoals declined by not responding as did Fayette, Marshall, Morgan, and Pickens counties.
“The number of local governments joining the state and waiving their local sales taxes for storm preparedness items is very impressive,” Alabama Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee said. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of the holiday and stock up on storm preparedness items ahead of time so they can be better prepared when severe weather strikes.”
This is Alabama’s first tax holiday for severe weather supplies was a result of Governor Bentley’s Tornado Recovery Action Council established following the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak. The legislation carried by Senator Greg Reed (R-Jasper) and Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) was approved by the Legislature in April and immediately signed by the Governor.
“The time is now to go ahead and get what you and your family will need in the event of an emergency and its aftermath,” Governor Bentley said. “Whether it’s something as simple as a battery-powered radio or something as large as a generator, the items covered by this sales tax holiday can help you weather a storm and stay safe in the days following a natural disaster.”
The covered items must cost $60 or less, except for generators, which are covered as long as they cost $1,000 or less.
“Our goals with this annual sales tax holiday are to raise awareness, to increase preparedness, and, ultimately, to save lives,” Governor Bentley said. “We have seen nature’s fury from tornadoes to hurricanes and other storms. I encourage people to use this weekend’s sales tax holiday as a good chance to prepare for future disasters.”
Beginning in 2013, the annual sales tax holiday will be held during the last full weekend of February. This will place the holiday in close proximity to the annual Severe Weather Awareness Week and ahead of Alabama’s primary severe weather season.
Items covered by the sales tax holiday include:
- Several types of batteries, including cell phone batteries and chargers
- Battery-powered radios
- NOAA weather radios
- Flashlights, lanterns, and emergency glow sticks
- First aid kits
- Duct tape
- Plywood, window film or other materials, specifically designed to protect window openings
- Portable generators
- Gas or Diesel fuel containers
- Tarpaulins and plastic sheeting
- Any non-electric food storage cooler or water storage container
- Non-electric can openers
- Any artificial ice, blue ice, ice packs, or reusable ice
- Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors
- Ground anchor systems such as cords or rope or tie-down kits
Cities and Counties Participating in Waiving Sales Tax for the Holiday
Adamsville, Addison, Albertville, Alexander City, Anniston, Arab, Ardmore, Argo, Ashland, Athens, Attalla, Bay Minette, Bayou La Batre , Berry, Boaz, Boligee, Brent, Brundidge, Calera, Camden, Carbon Hill, Center Point, Centre, Centreville, Cherokee, Childersburg, Citronelle, Clanton, Clay, Clayton, Coker, Collinsville, Columbiana, Crossville, Cullman, Daphne, Dauphin Island, Decatur, Demopolis, Double Springs, Douglas, Eclectic, Elkmont, Eufaula, Eva, Fairfield, Fairhope, Falkville, Fayette, Flomaton, Florala, Florence, Foley, Fort Deposit, Fort Payne, Fultondale, Gardendale, Geneva, Georgiana, Geraldine, Grant, Graysville, Greensboro, Grove Hill, Guin, Gulf Shores, Hackleburg, Haleyville, Hamilton, Hartford, Hartselle, Hayden, Hayneville, Helena, Henagar, Hokes Bluff, Homewood, Hoover, Hueytown, Huntsville, Hytop, Irondale, Killen, Kimberly, LaFayette, Lanett, Leeds, Linden, Locust Fork, Loxley, Madison, Magnolia Springs, Midway, Millbrook, Mobile (City of), Montevallo, Montgomery (City of), Morris, Moulton, Mountain Brook, Mt Vernon, New Brockton, New Hope, North Courtland, Northport, Oak Grove, Odenville, Oneonta, Opelika, Orange Beach, Owens Cross Roads, Oxford, Parrish, Pell City, Phenix City, Phil Campbell, Pike Road, Pinson, Prattville, Prichard, Rainbow City, Rainsville, Red Bay, Reform, Repton, Roanoke, Rogersville, Russellville, Samson, Saraland, Scottsboro, Selma, Semmes, Silverhill, Sipsey, Skyline, Smiths Station, Somerville, Southside, Spanish Fort, Springville, Stevenson, Sulligent, Sumiton, Summerdale, Sylacauga, Sylvania, Talladega, Tallassee, Tarrant, Town Creek, Trinity, Troy, Trussville, Tuscaloosa, Tuscumbia, Union Springs, Valley Head, Vernon, Vestavia Hills, Warrior, West Blocton, Wetumpka, Wilsonville, and Winfield.
Autauga County, Baldwin County, Barbour County, Bibb County, Blount County, Bullock County, Butler County, Calhoun County, Chambers County, Cherokee County, Choctaw County, Clarke County, Colbert County, Conecuh County, Coosa County, Covington County, Cullman County, Dallas County, DeKalb County, Elmore County, Etowah County, Franklin County, Jackson County, Lamar County, Lauderdale County, Lawrence County, Limestone County, Madison County, Marengo County, Marion County, Mobile County, Montgomery County, Perry County, Pike County, Randolph County, Russell County, St. Clair County (limited), Shelby County, Sumter County, Talladega County, Tuscaloosa County, Walker County, and Winston County
Cities and Counties Who Responded “No” to Waiving Sales Tax for the Holiday
Abbeville, Aliceville, Allgood, Ariton, Arley, Auburn, Baker Hill, Banks, Beatrice, Belk, Blountsville, Blue Springs, Brantley, Brewton, Bridgeport, Brighton, Brilliant, Carrollton, Castleberry, Chatom, Clayhatchee, Cordova, Cuba, Cusseta, Dadeville, Daleville, Daviston, Dutton, Edwardsville, Enterprise, Excel, Franklin, Fulton, Gantt, Glen Allen, Goshen, Greenville, Guntersville, Hammondville, Hodges, Ider, Jacksonville, Kennedy, Leesburg, Lexington, Lincoln, Lisman, Lockhart, Louisville, Lynn, Malvern, Maplesville, Margaret, Mentone, Midland City, Millport, Moundville, Myrtlewood, Needham, Newbern, Ohatchee, Ozark, Pelham, Pickensville, Pine Hill, Priceville, Ragland, Reece City, River Falls, Sand Rock, Satsuma, Shorter, Silas, St. Florian, Steele, Susan Moore, Sweet Water, Sylvan Springs, Taylor, Thomaston, Thomasville, Thorsby, Vincent, Waterloo, Webb, West Jefferson, and Woodville.
Chilton County, Crenshaw County, Dale County, Escambia County, Henry County, Houston County, Jefferson County, Tallapoosa County,
Cities and Counties Who Did Not Respond to Waiving Sales Tax for the Holiday
Akron, Alabaster, Aliceville, Altoona, Andalusia, Anderson, Ashford, Ashville, Atmore, Autaugaville, Bear Creek, Beaverton, Bessemer, Birmingham, Black, Bridgeport, Brighton, Brookside, Brookwood, Butler, Camp Hill, Cedar Bluff, Chelsea, Chickasaw, Cleveland, Clio, Coaling, Coffee Springs, Coffeeville, Columbia, Coosada, Cottonwood, Courtland, Cowarts, Creola, Deatsville, Detroit, Dora, Dothan, Dozier, East Brewton, Elba, Elberta, Eldridge, Elmore, Emelle, Ethelsville, Eutaw, Evergreen, Faunsdale, Five Points, Forkland, Frisco City, Fyffe, Gadsden, Gainesville, Gaylesville, Geiger, Gilbertown, Glencoe, Glenwood, Goldville, Goodwater, Gordo, Gordon, Gordonville, Gurley, Haleburg, Harpersville, Headland, Heflin, Hillsboro, Hobson City, Hollywood, Hurtsboro, Jackson, Jacksons’ Gap, Jasper, Jemison, Kansas, Kellyton, Kinsey, Kinston, Lake View, Lakeview, Leighton, Level Plains, Lineville, Lipscomb, Littleville, Livingston, Lowndesboro, Luverne, Marion, McIntosh, McKenzie, Millry, Monroeville, Moody, Mosses, Mulga, Munford, Muscle Shoals, Napier Field, Nauvoo, New Site, Newton, Notasulga, Oakman, Opp, Orrville, Pennington, Perdido Beach, Piedmont, Pinckard, Pisgah, Pleasant Grove, Powell, Ranburne, Red Level, Rehobeth, Ridgeville, Riverside, Riverview, Robertsdale, Rockford, Rutledge, Sanford, Sardis City, Section, Sheffield, Slocomb, Snead, Toxey, Trafford, Triana, Tuskegee, Union Grove, Uniontown, Valley, Valley Grande, Vance, Vina, Wadley, Waldo, Walnut Grove, Waverly, Weaver, Wedowee, Westover, White Hall, Wilton, Woodland, Woodstock, Yellow Bluff, and York.
Clay County, Cleburne County, Coffee County, Fayette County, Geneva County, Greene County, Hale County, Lowndes County, Macon County, Marshall County, Monroe County, Morgan County, Pickens County, and Wilcox County.