Friday begins six-day back-to-school sales tax holiday

Historic City News readers can participate in the upcoming back-to-school sales tax “holiday” on clothes, classroom supplies, and this year, computer equipment. The state is offering the tax break for five days starting Friday, August 2nd at 12:01 a.m. and lasting through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, August 6th.

The return of computers and certain accessories with price tags up to $1,000, includes items such as personal tablets, laptops and monitors and is expected to create increased sales. Last year’s back-to-school tax holiday only lasted three days and didn’t include computer equipment.

“Families are expected to spend an average of $700 on back-to-school shopping for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and close to $1,000 for college students,” said James Miller, the Florida Retail Federation’s senior director of external affairs. “The tax waiver is expected to cut state revenue by $31.8 million while local government revenue may drop by a total of $9.9 million.”

Along with computer equipment costing up to $1,000, shoppers this year will be able to avoid paying sales taxes on clothes, shoes, and backpacks costing $60 or less and school supplies costing $15 or less.

This event will be the 17th “back-to-school” tax holiday in Florida since 1998, yet only the fifth year in which personal computers and accessories are included.

The overall tax package passed by lawmakers this spring and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis also included other issues, such as a reduction in the sales tax on commercial leases from 5.7 percent to 5.5 percent. Also, it included measures to assist Northwest Florida farmers who sustained damage last year in Hurricane Michael.