Shoppers can prepare for the hurricane season while saving some pennies during the Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.
The 2013 sales tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. May 25 and ends at 11:59 p.m. May 26.
Louisiana law spares those shopping for hurricane-related purchases from paying the state’s 4 percent sales tax on the first $1,500 in purchases of such items as portable generators, storm shutter devices and smaller items, such as portable light sources, cellular phone batteries and food storage coolers.
Byron Henderson, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Revenue, tells The Advertiser the sales tax holiday was created by the legislature in 2007, to encourage Louisianians to prepare for hurricane season, which starts June 1. The savings period always falls the weekend before hurricane season arrives.
“People can save money while getting ready,” Henderson said, suggesting that tax savings may spur people to prepare.
Although the sales tax holiday is now in its sixth year, Jessica Elliott, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Retailers Association, said consumers have only become generally aware of it in the past two or three years.
“It takes a couple of years to catch on,” she said.
It is difficult to track the effect on sales, however, but the impact for consumers is well-documented, she said.
Consumers benefit by making their purchases in orderly fashion at a time when retail outlets are stocked with goods and prepared to serve people. Shoppers who flock to stores only during a weather emergency may find the stores are unprepared with personnel or understocked with necessary items, she said.
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