Florida’s 2019 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday has begun. During this period, purchases of certain disaster preparedness items are exempt from Florida sales tax. But before you go out and purchase that expensive camping item or generator you’ve always wanted, make sure to look at the price limits on these items. 

Selling for $10 or less: 

 Reusable ice (reusable ice packs) 

Selling for $20 or less: 

 Any portable self-powered light source (powered by battery, solar, hand-crank, or gas)

 Candles, Flashlights, and Lanterns 

Selling for $25 or less: 

 Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers 

Selling for $30 or less: 

 Batteries, including rechargeable batteries, listed sizes only (excluding automobile and boat batteries): 

 AAA-cell,  AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, 9-volt,

 Coolers and ice chests (food-storage; nonelectrical) 

Selling for $50 or less: 

 Bungee cords 

 Ground anchor systems 

 Radios (powered by battery, solar, or handcrank); Two-way, Weather band

 Ratchet straps 

 Tarpaulins (tarps) 

 Tie-down kits 

 Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting 

Selling for $750 or less: Portable generators used to provide light or communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage Note: Eligible light sources and radios qualify for the exemption even if electrical cords are also included.


If you are purchasing a qualifying exempt item online, you must be careful of the delivery date. TIP 19A01-02 explains that the purchasing the item during the sales tax holiday is not enough to receive the exemption. The order must also be accepted for immediate shipment, even if actual delivery is made after the conclusion of the sales tax holiday. 

Shipping and handling may also result in the total price of an item exceeding the allowance under the exemption. Customers must have (1) the option of having the item shipped and (2) the shipping charges separately stated in order to exclude shipping from the sales price. Most online sales, such as those on amazon, do not offer the option of picking up the item at an instore location. Therefore, shipping must be included in the total sales price of the item. If the price of the item plus shipping purchased on Amazon exceeds the threshold above, you won’t qualify for the exemption.

 Taxpayers looking to get a deal may want to review the technicalities of the sales tax holiday. The Florida Department of Revenue has issued a Taxpayer Information Publication, or “TIP” to explain the details. TIP 19A01-02 addresses items normally sold as a unit, BOGO deals, gift cards, exchanges, returns, coupons, discounts, rebates, rain checks, layaway sales, service warranties and more. To read the TIP, click HERE.

Jeanette Moffa is an attorney who concentrates on state and local taxes at Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A. She is an executive council member of the American Bar Association Tax Section State and Local Tax Committee and the Florida Bar Tax Section. Ms. Moffa is an author of both the CCH’s Expert Treatise Library: Sales and Use Tax as well the ABA’s Sales and Use Tax Deskbook. In addition, her regular columns on state and local tax issues can be found in State Tax Notes and Actionline, a publication from the Florida Bar’s Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section. She also serves as assistant editor to the Sales and Use Tax Deskbook and Actionline. Ms. Moffa is a regular speaker at the American Bar Association Tax Section conferences, the Institute of Professionals in Taxation, the Florida Bar Tax Section, the Florida Bar Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section, and the FICPA. In her free time, she teaches as an adjunct professor at Broward College.