PRESS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Dan Patrick

For Immediate Release
October 29, 2008

Contact: Logan Spence (512) 463-0107
Beth Shields - (512) 663-4117

SENATORS DAN PATRICK AND MIKE JACKSON UNVEIL PROPOSAL FOR DISASTER PREPAREDNESS SALES TAX HOLIDAY
Legislative Initiative Will Ease Financial Burden of Preparing for Natural Disasters

PASADENA - State Senators Mike Jackson (R - La Porte) and Dan Patrick (R - Houston) today held a news conference at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pasadena. The two legislators announced their plan to file a bill creating a sales tax holiday for disaster preparedness items.

"Texas is not a place for the faint of heart and Hurricane Ike proved that once again," stated Senator Patrick. "Texans constantly face extreme weather conditions that demand diligent preparedness."

"Texans are known for their independence and self-reliance, but the right kind of preparedness is key to bouncing back from a disaster," said Jackson. "That is why I join Senator Patrick in supporting this legislation that will help Texans across the state prepare for wildfires, tornados, ice storms, hurricanes and other disasters."

The bill as filed will set the date for the holiday as the first weekend in June, which is the heart of tornado season and marks the beginning of hurricane and wildfire seasons. Among the proposed tax exempt items are batteries, flashlights, bungee cords, tarps, portable radios, and generators.

"The states of Florida and Louisiana have instituted similar sales tax holidays for disaster preparedness items and we have waited far too long to do the same," stated Patrick.

The proposed holiday is not expected to have a negative impact on the state's general revenue because the back-to-school sales tax holiday, occurring every August, has not reduced sales tax revenues during that month.

"Instituting this sales tax holiday will do nothing but increase consumer activity in June," stated Senator Patrick. "Sales tax collections in August, the month of the back-to-school sales tax holiday, totaled $1.8 billion in August 2007 and increased to $2 billion in 2008."

"This legislation is a fiscally responsible way to encourage Texans to prepare for the natural disasters we all face," said Jackson.

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