Shoppers, grab your wallets.
As brutally inflated prices continue to hit households across the country, consumers in Florida will have the chance for some relief by saving more than half a billion dollars by not having to pay the sales tax on a slew of items, from kayaks to diapers to energy-efficient appliances, starting July 1.
Four tax holidays passed by state lawmakers will temporarily halt sales taxes on specified purchases. Watch out for the timing; one holiday, for example, lasts just a week, while another lasts two years.
They all begin Friday, July 1, with the start of Florida’s second “Freedom Week,” which runs through July 7, and applies to fishing equipment, camping gear, pool supplies and other necessities for enjoying the outdoors. The first such tax holiday was approved last year.
The tax holiday, which will save consumers an estimated $70.6 million, also applies to gym memberships, museum admission, concerts, state park fees and more.
Two more sales tax breaks will run concurrently. Those are the year-long tax holiday for so-called “Energy Star” appliances as well as one for diapers and baby clothes – both through June 30, 2023 – will also begin July 1, saving consumers an estimated $198.5 million. Energy Star appliances are those that meet specific efficiency standards set by the federal government.
Additionally, consumers have the chance to save $443 million on hurricane improvements to their homes with a two-year tax holiday on impact-resistant windows, doors and garage doors that runs through June 30, 2024.
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“In our role as a government watchdog, we are constantly looking out for the taxpayer and identifying opportunities for them to hold onto their hard-earned money,” said Dominic C. Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, adding that the set of tax holidays “clearly demonstrates a similar commitment and, what’s more, compassion for the financial hardships people across the state, from the Panhandle down to the Keys, have experienced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.”
What sales tax holidays are coming up for Florida consumers?
State lawmakers approved five other tax holidays as part of this year’s budget. One tax holiday on disaster preparedness supplies has already passed, while a three-month tax holiday on children’s books will last through Aug. 14. Together, these holidays offered nearly $30 million in savings.
Three more sales tax holidays have yet to start.
A two-week, back-to-school holiday from July 25 to Aug. 7 will offer parents and guardians a $100 million tax relief on clothes, shoes, backpacks and school supplies. Starting Sept. 3, a weeklong sales tax holiday on equipment typically used by skilled trade workers – from gloves to power tools to safety glasses – will offer $12.4 million in savings.
When does the Florida gas tax holiday start?
Drivers will still have to wait to see any relief at the gas pump, as lawmakers only approved a gas tax holiday in October. That is expected to save consumers $200 million, or 25.3 cents per gallon.
The complete list of what’s covered by these sales tax holidays can be found at floridarevenue.com.
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Hannah Morse covers consumer issues for The Palm Beach Post. Drop a line at [email protected], call 561-820-4833 or follow her on Twitter @mannahhorse.