Fla. tax holiday on hurricane supplies begins Friday

May 30, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – May 29, 2019 – A little nudging for storm prep shouldn’t be necessary after Matthew battered Florida’s east coast in 2016, Irma essentially drenched the entire state in 2017, and Michael ground up a chunk of the Panhandle last year.

Still, Floridians will have seven days to build a hurricane-season stockpile – including batteries, flashlights and radios – free of sales taxes, beginning Friday.

“You’ll have the opportunity to get pretty much whatever you need. It is very important to do so,” says James Miller, the Florida Retail Federation’s external affairs director. “Make sure you have your disaster preparedness and emergency kits ready to go, because we ultimately will have a storm at some point.”

“During that time, obviously all of the stores will be stocked in preparation for the holiday and in preparation hopefully for no upcoming storms,” Miller said.

The discounted supplies are just part of what Floridians need to be prepared for any disaster, says Mark Wool, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tallahassee.

“You need to be able to be self-sufficient, without the aid of anyone else, including EMS (emergency medical services), for three to five days,” Wool said. “We need a gallon of water per person and pet per day, non-perishable foods, flashlights, battery-powered radios, batteries for your flashlight, prescriptions, and make sure your gas tank is full.”

Jim Zingale, executive director of the Florida Department of Revenue, encouraged all Floridians to exploit the “holiday.”

“While living in and visiting Florida offers many benefits and advantages, it is important to keep the potential for severe weather hazards and threats in mind,” Zingale says.

Items eligible for the May 31-June 6 tax break

  • Reusable ice that costs $10 or less
  • Self-powered light sources, $20 or less
  • Gas or diesel fuel tanks, $25 or less
  • Nonelectric food storage coolers, $30 or less
  • Packs of AA-cell, AAA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt or 9-volt batteries, $30 or less
  • Self-powered radios, two-way radios or weather-band radios, $50 or less
  • Tarpaulins or other flexible waterproof sheeting, $50 or less
  • Tie-down kits, $50 or less
  • Portable generators, $750 or less

The rental or repair of items doesn’t qualify for the exemption, and items sold at airports and theme parks aren’t included in the deal.

Source: News Service of Florida, Tom Urban, Jim Turner


Mortgage rates won’t go as high as expected

May 24, 2019

WASHINGTON – May 23, 2019 – This year’s borrowing costs will likely be lower than originally predicted, according to an updated forecast from Freddie Mac.

The GSE recently downgraded its forecast for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, projecting it will average 4.3% in 2019 – below last year’s average of 4.5%.

In addition, Freddie Mac economists predict only a small average rate increase in 2020, with 30-year fixed rates averaging 4.5% next year.

“The combined positive impact of low mortgage rates, a strong labor market, low unemployment and modest wage growth supports our forecast for a steadily growing housing market in 2019,” Freddie Mac says in its May 2019 Forecast report.

 


It’s Just Another Day in Celebration~Ville!

May 22, 2019

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