Hey, you can save money in Texas on a shiny new axe -- and by 'axe,' I don't mean guitar.

We have the 2021 Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday coming up April 24th through April 26th. I guess this sales tax holiday on emergency items is a new thing, so a list of items is very necessary. Apparently, this is in response or is a bigger deal this year because emergency supplies were tapped during the big freeze in February 2021.

I also looked to increase my emergency supplies after the big freeze, and the number one item I wanted to stock up on is candles. This makes me wonder if you have to get the basic, industrial, non-scented candles, or if I buy a candle anywhere will the tax not be added to the purchase?

The comptroller is making accommodations for online orders, deliveries and other circumstances. If you need to know more about that, you can click here.

These emergency preparation supplies qualify for tax exemption if purchased for a sales price (per the Texas Comptroller):

  • Less than $3,000
    • Portable generators
  • Less than $300
    • Emergency ladders
    • Hurricane shutters
  • Less than $75
    • Axes
    • Batteries, single or multipack (AAA cell, AA cell, C cell, D cell, 6 volt or 9 volt)
    • Can openers - nonelectric
    • Carbon monoxide detectors
    • Coolers and ice chests for food storage – nonelectric
    • Fire extinguishers
    • First aid kits
    • Fuel containers
    • Ground anchor systems and tie-down kits
    • Hatchets
    • Ice products - reusable and artificial
    • Light sources - portable self-powered (including battery operated)
      • Examples of items include: candles, flashlights, and lanterns
    • Mobile telephone batteries and mobile telephone chargers
    • Radios - portable self-powered (including battery operated) - includes two-way and weather band radios
    • Smoke detectors
    • Tarps and other plastic sheeting

Note: Several over-the-counter self-care items, such as antibacterial hand sanitizer, soap, spray and wipes, are always exempt from sales tax if they are labeled with a "Drug Facts" panel in accordance with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

Of course, there are plenty of items you may think qualify for the emergency supplies tax holiday, but actually don't. So before you buy anything, check out the list below to see supplies that you won't get a tax break on.

These supplies do not qualify for tax exemption:

  • Medical masks and face masks
  • Cleaning supplies, such as disinfectants and bleach wipes
  • Gloves, including leather, fabric, latex, and types used in healthcare
  • Toilet paper
  • Batteries for automobiles, boats, and other motorized vehicles
  • Camping stoves
  • Camping supplies
  • Chainsaws
  • Plywood
  • Extension ladders
  • Stepladders
  • Tents
  • Repair or replacement parts for emergency preparation supplies
  • Services performed on or related to, emergency preparation supplies


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