The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 20, 2014

Severe weather possible; sales tax holiday this weekend

By Budd McLaughlin

— After dealing with record-setting winter weather and with severe weather possible today and tonight as well as during the spring, Alabamians wanting to stock up on supplies have a tax-free shopping weekend coming up.

The state is waiving its sales tax and more than 200 cities and counties — including Athens and Limestone County — are waiving their local sales taxes for the state’s third severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday. It begins midnight tonight and ends at midnight Saturday.

State and local sales taxes are waived for severe weather preparedness supplies including flashlights, first-aid kits, battery-powered or hand-cranked radios, plastic sheeting, batteries, duct tape, plywood, fire extinguishers, tie-down kits, bungee cords, rope, manual can openers, cellphone chargers, window film and coolers. The items must cost less than $60.

Generators costing $1,000 or less also can also be purchased without paying state’s 4-percent sales tax.

For a complete list of tax-free items, visit and for information on what items to include in emergency kits, as well as steps to take before and after disasters, visit

Meanwhile, a storm system may bring damaging winds and possibly isolated tornadoes to this area.

The severe weather is possible late tonight and into Friday as a cold front enters west Tennessee and northern Mississippi this afternoon, with a line of storms ahead of it.

Forecasters say it appears the main threat will be damaging winds of more than 60 mph along the line of thunderstorms. They say the possibility of isolated tornadoes can’t be ruled out.