Florida Senate Approves Three ‘Sales-Tax Holidays’ for Summer 2021

Florida’s Historic Capitol and Florida State Capitol


On April 23rd, 2021, the Florida House of Representatives voted 109 to 3 for a bill (HB 7061) that was originally proposed by the Ways and Means Committee on April 18th, to provide multiple sales-tax “holidays” and other tax-related adjustments developed to explicitly impact both businesses and families alike.

If the bill becomes law, the first sales-tax holiday would be the “Disaster Preparedness” holiday from May 28th, 2021, through June 3rd, 2021 that allows supplies specifically for disaster preparedness to be exempt from sales-tax and county discretionary sales surtaxes. Items exempt include:

  • A portable self-powered light source selling for $20 or less
  • A portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio selling for $50 or less
  • A tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting selling for $50 or less
  • A ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less
  • A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less
  • A package of AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat
    batteries, selling for $30 or less
  • A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less
  • A portable generator that is used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage selling for $750 or less

The next sales-tax holiday included in the bill would be the “Freedom Week” holiday from July 1st, 2021, through July 7th, 2021, that includes tax exemption on admissions to recreational activities like concerts, sporting events, movie theaters, and camping, as well as an exemption on a range of items used in these recreational activities such as boating and fishing supplies like life jackets and bait, to general outdoor supplies like sunscreen and insect repellent. The exemption on admissions to any of the live events listed can be for future events up until December 31st, 2021, as long as they are bought within the “Freedom week” holiday.

The final sales-tax holiday included in the bill is the “Back-to-School” holiday from August 6th, 2021, through August 12th, 2021, that allows for the 100% exemption of sales-tax on clothing (excluding watches, watchbands, jewelry, umbrellas, and handkerchiefs), footwear (excluding skis, swim fins, roller blades, and skates), wallets, and bags (excluding briefcases and suitcases), all under $60. The exemption carries over to school supplies that are $15 or less and personal computers at $1,000 or less.

In addition to the sales-tax holidays mentioned, the bill also eliminates the Sports Development Program that allowed professional sports teams in Florida to receive state sales-tax and use revenue to pay for construction or renovations for stadiums and other infrastructure. This frees up about $370 million a year in distributions made to the maximum of eight professional franchises part of the Program.

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Casey Owens is a writer at The Florida Capital Star. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Florida’s Historic Capitol and Florida State Capitol” by Michael Rivera CC 3.0.

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