A series of sales-tax “holidays” on such things as school clothes, hurricane supplies and tools, and a suspension of the state gas tax in October, topped a package signed into law recently by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The tax package passed by the Legislature in March will reduce state and local revenues by $804.3 million during the upcoming fiscal year, according to a House staff analysis. The total will increase to about $1.1 billion when future impacts are factored in.
The governor touted that the election-year package will help consumers.
“The tax relief you’re going to see are going to be breaks for really critical needs, like gas, diapers, disaster supplies, tools for skilled trades, recreational activities, you name it,” DeSantis said. “And, so, families are going to be able to save for things that really matter for them.”
While most of the tax package will not take effect until July 1 or later, two parts of it will start this month.
A sales-tax exemption on children’s books runs from May 14 through Aug. 14, and a tax holiday will start May 28 on hurricane-preparation supplies.
That hurricane-prep holiday will run through June 10. Shoppers will be able to avoid paying sales taxes on an array of items, from packages of batteries and radios under $50 to generators up to $1,000. The hurricane-season holiday for the first time will include pet supplies.
The third tax holiday will be for what lawmakers have dubbed “Freedom Week,” which will run from July 1 through July 7. Shoppers will be able to avoid paying sales taxes on tickets for concerts, movies, ballgames and museum visits, as well as on certain gear for outdoor activities.
A back-to-school tax holiday will start July 25 and last through Aug. 7. Shoppers will be able to avoid paying sales taxes on clothes and shoes that cost $100 or less, school supplies that cost $50 or less, and personal computers with price tags of $1,500 or less.
A new tax holiday will run from Sept. 3 through Sept. 9 and has been dubbed the “tool time” holiday. During this period, people will be able to avoid paying sales taxes on certain tools and other work equipment.
In the month before voters go to the polls for the November elections, they also will get a break at the gas pump. The package includes suspending the roughly 25-cents-a-gallon state gas tax in October. Lawmakers decided to use $200 million in federal stimulus money to make up for lost gas-tax revenue, which goes toward transportation projects.
A big-ticket part of the package would eliminate sales taxes for two years on impact-resistant doors and windows.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democratic candidate for governor, issued a statement that said many of the tax breaks were aided by federal stimulus money.
“This tax relief package was made possible by the American Rescue Plan, which provided Florida with more than $10 billion in federal funds,” Fried said. “Working Floridians would not be able to access these benefits without the hard work of President Biden and Democrats who wrote and passed this historic legislation into law.”