what is the hurricane tax in florida

What is the hurricane tax in Florida? In Florida, not only do the palm trees dance in the wind, but also the specter of hurricanes hangs over the horizon.

In the midst of the state’s breathtaking scenery and lively culture, there is a one-of-a-kind financial quirk called the “hurricane tax.”

Being no stranger to these fierce storms, Florida has taken a unique approach to nip the risks in the bud and protect its people and structures.

But, what exactly is hurricane tax Florida?

Florida levies ahurricane tax on residents to pay for disaster planning, infrastructure upgrades, and emergency aid in the event of a hurricane.  

How Common Hurricanes in Florida Are and the Damage They Cause?

florida's hurricane frequency and damaging impact

Because of its long coastline and location, Florida frequently stands in the path of hurricanes.

Every part of the coastline has seen hurricane activity at once.

The southeast is particularly susceptible, followed by the panhandle but the entire state feels the impact of a land-falling hurricane.

On average, Florida can expect 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes each hurricane season, from June to November. 

The Damage Caused by Hurricanes in Florida

the damage caused by hurricanes in florida

Most of Florida’s population areas are more than 10 ft above sea level so the potential for hurricane damage is enormous with the annual costs estimated to be $28 billion.

Much of the damage and threat to life comes from factors, such as:

  • Flying debris
  • Storm surge
  • Flooding
  • The hurricanes associated with tornadoes

During Hurricane Ian, costing $109 billion, Florida’s residents experienced flash flooding generated by the storm’s relentless winds and intense rainfall.

Fact: Hurricane Ian caused 41 people to lose their lives in the storm surge and damage to property, which was extensive and widespread. 

What is the Hurricane Tax in Florida?

florida's hurricane tax meaning and purpose

The aim of the Hurricane Tax Bill, HB 7063 is to reduce the amount of state taxes that victims of Florida’s hurricanes have to pay.

Introduced by Florida legislators, Rick Scott and Bryon Donalds, the bill was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The act also qualifies Hurricane Ian as a disaster for tax write-offs purposes and eliminates the need to itemize losses that exceed 10% casualty’s gross income.

It also extends tax deadlines and revokes taxes on a range of items considered essential for hurricane survival.  

Hurricane Preparedness Tax Holidays 2023

hurricane preparedness tax holidays 2023

One of the most notable advancements in Florida is related to tax holidays.

There will be two 14-day disaster preparedness sales tax holidays in Florida in 2023:

  • May 27 through June 9
  • And again from Aug. 26 through Sept. 8

This new initiative gives residents time to restock in time for the busiest weeks of the hurricane season.

Many new items have been added to the list of exemptions from previous years.

Also, there is no limit to the number of tax-exempt purchases that can be made including when purchasing online, by mail order and by catalog

Why Bother about Hurricane Preparedness?

why bother about hurricane preparedness

When it comes to hurricane tax and preparedness, many people often wonder why exactly it is required in the first place.

To get an idea, you will have to pay attention to the statistics.

10 to 14 named storms, 5 to 7 hurricanes and 2 to 3 major hurricanes are predicted for 2023 which looks set to be a wetter than usual El Niño year.

With a warming Atlantic Ocean, the Floridian weather will be wilder not only wetter.

Storms typically peak in August and September but regardless of the predictions, being prepared for a hurricane limits its impact on buildings and property and saves lives. 

Who Pays for Hurricane Damage in Florida? 

who pays for hurricane damage in florida

The 2023 hurricane season could end up with another billion dollars in repair bill.

In part, it is homeowners who pay for the hurricane damage via their home insurance.

Floridians pay slightly more than the average but it means they can repair and rebuild and cover some of their losses.

Despite the high frequency of hurricanes, Florida does not insist on specific hurricane insurance but instead many providers include wind damage in a standard property insurance policy.

Fact: Policy details vary from provider to provider, not every loss connected to a hurricane will be covered which is why it is important to shop around. 

Standard Property Insurance

There are many insurance providers, so it is worth reading the fine print to find the one that best suits.

This is true especially when some insurers offer incentives to those with hurricane-resistant features in their homes.

standard property insurance

The standard insurance policy typically includes cover against damage by wind, fallen trees and hail.

It also covers structures including outbuildings and fences but it is not always the case.

Flooding usually requires a separate policy.

Tenants’ standard insurance usually covers just the contents of the rented home with the assumption that the property owner will provide insurance for the structure. 

An Important Consideration

Some providers have specific hurricane insurance which usually carries a deductible, generally a percentage of the property’s value with pay-outs conditional to the hurricane being named. 

Not Everything is Covered

not everything is covered

Although Florida has its fair share of hurricane insurance providers, not everything is covered and additional policies will be required.

Fact: Insurance policies do not always cover everything, and not covered are the sewer or drain, flooding, some wind damage, mold and the loss of personal belongings. 

How does Florida Survive Without Taxes? 

how does florida survive without taxes

Sales tax is the major source of Florida’s income.

It generates 75 % to 80% of the state gross revenue.

In the main, the rest comes from documentary stamp taxes, insurance taxes and corporate income taxes and other such source.

However, when the costs of natural disasters such as hurricanes exceed a local government’s capacity to respond, the state has an obligation to provide funding, personnel and resources.

Federal funds become available as the President declares a disaster and these supplement state and local resources. 

Rebuilding Homes and Long-Term Preparedness

rebuilding homes and long-term preparedness

As well as addressing the most immediate priorities in the aftermath of a hurricane, authorities are focused on rebuilding communities.

They are also focused on contributing to the state’s overall preparedness ready for the next one.

 Public funding for natural disaster assistance comes from various sources.

FEMA is just one and is heavily involved in the rehousing effort with its Public Assistance Program, which covers:

  • Home repairs
  • Hotel costs
  • Rents and leases
  • Manufactured housing units

The aim is that over time, all the state’s communities and infrastructure will be less vulnerable to hurricanes.

Funding for the Future

funding for the future

Funds are being found to rebuild and protect Florida.

Over 70,000 Florida households have been approved for financial assistance.

There are low-interest disaster loans available and the National Flood Insurance Program paid out $2.29 billion in claims.

There is also funding for public education, so that the people of Florida know how to prepare for a hurricane and what to do and expect if they are unfortunate enough to experience one.

What Can You Buy During Florida’s Disaster Prep Sales Tax Holiday?

florida's disaster prep tax holiday eligible items

You may have gathered the idea of the hurricane tax and tax holiday in Florida, but you may be wondering how to use it to your advantage.

To help elevate the costs of preparing for a hurricane the following are examples of the products that will be sold tax free in Florida:

  • Under $15 – pet supplies, including food, dogging bags, collapsible water bowls.
  • Under $25 – leashes and collars, pads and cat litter
  • Under $30 –  many household cleaning products including detergents, bleach,   sanitizers, soaps, sunscreen, bathroom tissue and trash bags.
  • Under $40 – pet beds and portable, self-powering light sources.
  • Under $50 – Rechargeable batteries: AA-cell, AAA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, 9-volt, self-powering radios, fuel tanks.
  • Under $60 – power banks and nonelectric food storage coolers
  • Under $70 – portable kennels, fire alarms and extinguishers, carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Under $100 – Tarps and waterproof sheeting, ground anchor system, tie-down kits, dry pet food under 50lbs, over-the-counter pet medications.
  • Under $300 – portable generators for light, communications or food preservation.

Floridians believe that preparedness is their best defense but they understand that preparedness is expensive for some.

Fact: With hurricanes set to become more intense and frequent, many other states are also looking to the federal government for more disaster management funding. 


So, what is the hurricane tax in Florida? The hurricane tax in Florida is a distinctive financial mechanism designed to strengthen the state’s resilience against the devastating impact of hurricanes.

Florida has implemented a strategic approach to safeguard its residents, infrastructure, and economy from the potential destruction caused by storms.

By implementing this tax, the state can finance essential preparedness measures and support disaster relief efforts.  

Florida’s proactive approach serves as a testament to the significance of preparedness and the determination to confront the challenges presented by nature directly.