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Residents could be offered tax-free disaster preparedness supplies

We're a step closer to a nine-day tax holiday to buy disaster relief supplies. Legislation giving Californians the option to purchase things like batteries, flashlights and first aid kits free of state tax through 2010 has cleared its first committee hurdle. Democratic Assmblymember Chuck DeVore is a co-author. He says it will provide people with an incentive to get the necessary supplies to handle a flood or an earthquake.

DeVore: It is a tangible reminder every year to go out and take a look at your disaster preparedness supplies.

There's a limit of forty to sixty dollars tax-free for most items. The authors say the holiday would mean an eight million dollar state tax revenue loss each year, but they expect that to be offset by other purchases.

In the past, cities and counties have been opposed to such plans for fear of lost revenue. However, the California State Association of Counties hasn't taken a position on the bill because it does not include the local portion of state sales tax.

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