AUSTIN, Texas (March 6, 2013) -– The R Street Institute today welcomed the introduction of legislation in the Texas House of Representatives creating an annual sales tax holiday for items that help Texans better prepare for hurricanes.

Introduced by state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, H.B. 2271 would declare May 25 to May 31 each year starting in 2014 as Hurricane Mitigation Week. During that week, the final days leading up to the June 1 start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, individuals and businesses would be exempt from sales tax on their purchases of such items as storm shutters, portable generators, batteries, coolers, artificial ice, self-powered flashlights and radios, gas containers, hurricanes straps, tarps, tie-down kits and carbon monoxide detectors.

The bill is a companion to S.B. 784, introduced by state Sen. Juan Hinojosa, R-Corpus Christi, which calls for a similar sales tax holiday in April.

“Both Rep. Morrison and Sen. Hinojosa should be commended for recognizing the importance of storm safety and encouraging Texans to be prepared,” R Street Texas Director Julie Drenner said. “In Texas, the tropical storms we see at the coast and the inland tornadoes and hail storms both can be devastating. These bills would help protect taxpayers from preventable damage.”

Morrison’s bill also calls for state agencies to take that week to review and update hurricane preparedness plans and for the Texas Education Agency, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office and Texas Department of Insurance, as well as counties and municipalities, to focus educational and outreach efforts on hurricane preparedness.