Smith introduces measure that exempts emergency preparedness items from state taxes

FILE PHOTO Assemblywoman Christy Smith represents the 38th Assembly District, which includes Agua Dulce, Castaic, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley and the northern San Fernando Valley. 08-16-19 BOBBY BLOCK / THE SIGNAL

Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, introduced a measure that would create a three-day “holiday” to exempt emergency supplies from state taxes, she announced Tuesday. 

Assembly Bill 2379 would provide a three-day tax exemption on the sale, storage, use or consumption of emergency preparedness items across California. 

“It’s devastating to witness one wildfire after another endanger lives, ruin family homes and threaten all we hold dear,” she said in a statement. “How we prepare for disasters, which we are unfortunately no stranger to in the 38th Assembly District, is of critical importance. I’m proud this bill not only makes necessary, life-saving items more accessible to the public but also creates awareness around what items should be included in a disaster go-bag.”

Among the items incorporated in the list of tax exemptions are: 

  • Portable generators.
  • Reusable ice products.
  • Self-powered light sources.
  • Gasoline containers.
  • Batteries.
  • Coolers.
  • Tarpaulins.
  • Mobile phone chargers.
  • Self-powered radios.
  • First-aid kits.
  • Fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, or smoke detector. 
  • Self-contained first aid kits.

“There are also many other factors we must consider in our community resiliency plans — public safety power shutoffs, earthquakes and other severe weather conditions,” Smith said. “As these issues become more prominent, the disaster preparedness items we have at our access are essential.” 

If enacted, the bill would take effect Jan. 1, 2021, with the tax-free holiday taking place over a three-day period in the month of June for each year until Jan. 1, 2023.  

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