VIRGINIA BEACH -- Forecasters predict an active hurricane season for the region.

In Virginia this week, you can buy -- tax free -- many items to help you and your family make it through any storm emergency -- from batteries to bungee cords.

Shoppers like Nastassia Ko say saving a few bucks here and there really helps.

'Bills, child care, helps you put it somewhere else,' Ko said.

Before you spend that saved tax money, check your purchases closely. Many retailers are still charging sales tax for items that are supposed to be tax free.

State tax officials say they throw all of their limited resources at alerting retailers about sales tax holidays, including e-mailss and Twitter postings.

Robert Dean, a tax watchdog in Va. Beach, sides with the state on this one, saying retailers have a responsibility to do better.

'They all have sophisticated equipment that can change this with the stroke of a keyboard,' Dean stated.

13News found a problem years ago with many of the same stores charging tax on certain non-prescription drug items, even though the state had made them tax free a decade earlier.

Del. Paula Miller (D-Norfolk/87th District) says stores know better and need to plan better since the hurricane sales tax holiday has been around for years. She also said lawmakers may have to look into penalizing businesses that don't comply.

The state says if you are taxed incorrectly,ask for a refund.

On items 13News bought Tuesday at a Wal-Mart, we asked for and got the refund - no questions asked.

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