It’s time to stock up on back-to-school necessities -- for a limited time, computers and school supplies will be tax-free during Florida’s three-day sales-tax “holiday” held this weekend.
The holiday, which runs from Friday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 6, will give shoppers tax breaks on clothes, school supplies and other items families will need before heading back to school.
The sales-tax holiday will provide tax breaks on clothing and shoes up to $60 per item. School supplies costing $15 or less will also be tax-free and technology items like computers and accessories costing $750 will be tax-free as well.
Books valued $50 or less were, at one point, exempted from the tax holiday, but will be part of the tax break this year.
The sales tax package will save an estimated $92 million in tax breaks during the budget year which began July 1.
Nationally, families are expected to spend 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 are also anticipated to spend up to $84 billion on back-to-school spending this year, up 10 percent from the $76 billion spent last year.
“We are looking forward to another successful Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, and applaud Governor Scott and the Legislature for recognizing the significance it has on our hard-working families and the 270,000 retailers throughout the State of Florida,” said Florida Retail Federation President and CEO R. Scott Shalley in a statement. “Each year, shoppers show up in record numbers and provide a tremendous economic boost overall to retailers’ sales numbers while they are able to afford more of the supplies they need.”
According to a Florida House bill analysis, the state is estimated to reduce state and local government revenue by nearly $27 million and $7 million, respectively.
Florida is one of 16 states to offer a back-to-school sales tax holiday. The state has offered other tax holidays this year, including one in June on hurricane preparedness items.
The back-to-school sales-tax holiday has been one of the more popular tax holidays, 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.