La. leaders cancel annual hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday

State leaders cancel annual hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Revenue has announced the cancellation of the annual Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. Shoppers typically get a tax break on storm supplies during the last weekend of May.

Louisiana has seen its fair share of wet weather in recent days, but it has been a few years since a hurricane threatened the coast. Regardless, every May the state urges residents to get ready.

Henry Bingham, owner of Our Hardware, has almost everything a homeowner needs to prepare for a hurricane. Bingham said he was just starting to stock up on supplies ahead of the annual Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday.

"During hurricane season, we normally see about 20 percent more people coming out looking for different supplies," Bingham said.

As an incentive, Louisiana shoppers are exempt from paying the state sales tax, which is five percent this year.

"I take advantage of it," Terry Irby said.

"This is the time I'm going to get it (shopping) done," Marjorie Green said.

But this year lawmakers voted during a special legislative session to do away with the exemption to help Louisiana bounce back from its current financial crisis. That is not sitting well with taxpayers.

"I think that's a bad idea," Irby said.

Bingham said he cannot afford to let supplies collect dust on his shelves.

"I probably won't bring in some of the items that I normally wouldn't stock because of the mere fact of the cost," Bingham said.

Because supplies will be limited, Bingham encourages residents to shop early.

Green said she plans on loading up on supplies before the end of May.

"I'm going to have to get it done now because hurricanes don't stop," Green said.

The legislature has approved a two percent sales tax break on supplies for shoppers during the first Friday and Saturday of August. State emergency preparedness leaders urge residents to replenish their supplies before hurricane season begins on June 1.

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