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Politics

Florida Lawmaker Pitches 2018 Back-to-School Tax Holiday

October 31, 2017 - 5:30pm

Sales tax on school supplies and clothes would be lifted for two consecutive weekends in 2018 if a new proposal from a Florida lawmaker passes this legislative session.

Sponsored by Rep. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, SB 686 would lift sales taxes on items parents and students will need to stock up on before heading back to school next year.

If passed, the back-to-school “tax holiday” would provide tax breaks on clothing and shoes up to $100 per item. School supplies costing $15 or less will also be tax-free and technology items like computers and accessories costing at least $1,000 would be tax-free as well.

The tax holiday would run from July 27 to Aug. 5, 2018.

The numbers are an increase from this year’s sales tax holiday, which offered tax breaks on clothing and shoes up to $60 per item. Computers and technology accessories costing $750 were also eligible for the tax break.
 
Books valued $50 or less were, at one point, exempted from the tax holiday this year, but were part of the tax break this year. 
 
The sales tax package saved an estimated $92 million in tax breaks during the budget year which began July 1. 
 
Nationally, families spent around $688 this year on apparel, shoes and school supplies, a number which has jumped six percent from last year, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation. 
 
Families spent up to $84 billion on back-to-school spending this year, up 10 percent from the $76 billion spent last year.
 
Florida is one of 16 states to offer back-to-school sales tax holidays. The state has offered other tax holidays throughout the years, including one in June on hurricane preparedness items. 
 
The back-to-school sales-tax holiday has been one of the more popular tax holidays over the last two decades, being offered most years since 1998. 
 
In 2015, the sales-tax holiday was 10 days long, but lawmakers settled on a shorter holiday this year.
 
 
 
 

 

 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.

 

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