President Office — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2020
Senate Passes Broad-Based Tax Relief Package
Tax Relief Package Includes Back-To-School and Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holidays
The Florida Senate today passed House Bill 7097, Taxation. The legislation will deliver tax relief to families and businesses across the state, with a focus on sales tax holidays that offer a tax savings for Florida families preparing for the upcoming 2020 Hurricane Season and the 2020-2021 school year, as well as several tax relief benefits related to disaster preparedness.
“Our 2020 Tax Relief Package offers Florida families a tax savings when they purchase critical supplies in advance of the upcoming hurricane season and as they manage the costs associated with preparing children for the new school year,” said Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton). “Over the last few days, my colleagues have worked diligently to ensure that we can provide the broad-based tax relief opportunities Florida families count on, while still responsibly increasing state reserves to approximately $4 billion to account for impacts associated with the ongoing public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 virus. This legislation strikes an appropriate balance between those important goals.”
Establishes the 2020 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday
The legislation creates a three-day “back-to-school” sales tax holiday from August 7 to August 9, 2020, for clothing, footwear, and backpacks costing $60 or less, school supplies costing $15 or less, and the first $1000 of the sales tax price of personal computers or personal computer-related accessories.
Establishes the 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday
The legislation creates a seven-day “disaster preparedness” sales tax holiday from May 29 to June 4, 2020, for disaster preparedness supplies. Some examples of tax-free items include: flashlights and lanterns costing $20 or less; radios and tarps costing $50 or less; coolers and batteries costing $30 or less; and, generators costing $750 or less.
Background: Over the last several years, the Florida Legislature has prioritized broad-based tax relief for Florida’s families and businesses.
2018 and 2019: House Bills 7087 (2018) and 7123 (2019) established Back-to-School and Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holidays, further reduced the business rent tax, and created several exemptions related to hurricane response, preparedness and recovery, while the state budget reduced local property tax rates.
2017: House Bill 7109 established Back-to-School and Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holidays, created a sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products, and reduced the business rent tax, while the state budget reduced local property tax rates.
2016: House Bill 7099 permanently eliminated the sales tax for machinery and manufacturing equipment, and established a Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, while the state budget reduced local property tax rates.
2015: House Bill 33-A permanently decreased the communication services tax (CST) on Floridians’ phones and television services, instituted a Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, and among other tax relief measures, eliminated the sales tax charged to returning service members and their families who purchased a vehicle overseas.
2014: House Bill 5601 established Back-to-School and Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holidays; created permanent sales tax exemptions for children’s car seats, booster seats, and bicycle helmets; and provided a nearly $400 million reduction in vehicle registration fees. The legislation reduced certain annual fees paid to register a motor vehicle to the amount paid prior to 2009. In addition to other tax relief measures passed in 2014, this legislation provided annual fee relief to every Floridian who registers a car or truck.