New sales tax holidays near passage in Florida

Florida

WFLA photo.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News Services) – Florida will have three weeks of sales tax-free merchandise that includes hurricane and back-to-school supplies this year.

There is also the third week of tax-free sales on recreational supplies and entertainment tickets beginning July 1st.

Florida’s sales tax-free holidays are bigger and better this year. Under legislation expected to be approved Wednesday, hurricane supplies go tax-free the Friday before Memorial Day. 

Items that would be tax-exempt include generators under $750 dollars, coolers, batteries, weather radios, and more.

The state’s outgoing Director of Emergency Management Jared Moskowitz said the tax-free days serve as a reminder.

“I think its very important that the government do everything we can to incentivize people being prepared and increasing their resiliency for hurricane season,” Moskowitz said.

In July, a new tax-free holiday will start called Freedom Week. Items that will be tax-free include camping and fishing gear including tents, sleeping bags, camp stoves and even folding camping chairs costing less than $40 are on the list.

During the week you can also buy tickets to sporting events or movies tax-free as well as tickets to music venues.

House sponsor Bobby Payne said the tickets will have to be used by the end of the year.

“We have an opportunity to turn some taxes back to consumers who have been shut in for a year, or six months, or whatever, and they want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors,” Payne said.

Finally, there is a tax-free week of school supplies.

Items that will be tax-free include clothing and shoes up to $60, backpacks and computers costing less than $1,000.

“It’s a shot in the arm that’s needed very much by the retail industry,” said Scott Shalley with the Florida Retail Federation.

Amid a host of other technical changes, the legislation also permanently removes the sales tax from independent living items including bed rails, grab bars and shower seats.

The legislation also allows tourism taxes to be used to mitigate flood risks.

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