TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News Services) – This year’s back to school sales tax holiday kicks off Friday and continues through Sunday, but parents are facing an uncertain future when it comes to how the upcoming school year will look.
Pencils, notebooks and backpacks are all items covered under the upcoming back to school sales tax holiday, but with the potential for distance learning, reopening delays or even potential school closures preparing for the 2020 school year is more complicated than ever.
“Some students might not start off with a backpack cause they’re not gonna be leaving the house and that’s okay, but we have some students who will need a book bag,” said Dr. Danielle Thomas, Vice President of Education for the Florida PTA.
But there are some items on the list that could be helpful whether your child returns to the classroom or end up learning from home.
“Writing utensils, the paper, the notebooks. Those types of things that they will probably need no matter what,” said Thomas.
Computers and accessories like webcams are also exempt from taxation this weekend.
“It’s up to $1,000 on a computer purchase so we’re happy with that especially at a time when you’re going to have a lot of people opting for virtual learning,” said Scott Shalley, President and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation.
Also exempt this weekend for the first time ever, face masks.
“Masks are either highly encouraged or required in many cases and of course comes a cost with that,” said Thomas.
And if you don’t feel safe going into a crowed store, remember the tax exemption also applies to items purchased online.
“And of course the stores themselves are implementing a lot of measures to ensure a safe shopping experience,” said Shalley.
Even though this year’s tax free holiday is two days shorter than last year’s, the Retail Federation anticipates Floridians will still save around $40 million, due to the expected demand for high priced technology items.