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Florida to Pass Massive Tax Relief Package — Expect These Tax Breaks

Florida lawmakers have negotiated a nearly $1.3 billion tax package for next fiscal year that includes expanding popular shopping sales-tax “holidays,” trimming a commercial lease tax and cutting costs of diapers for babies and adults.

The House and Senate are expected Friday to pass the package (HB 7063) and a record $117 billion budget (SB 2500) before ending the annual legislative session.

Senate Finance and Tax Chairman Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, said in a memo that the package “offers broad-based tax relief totaling just less than $1.3 billion.” While many of the tax breaks would be provided for limited periods, $303 million would recur each year in the future.

The package, in part, includes a series of bulked-up tax holidays.

Here’s a part of what it entails:

Expand back-to-school tax holiday

The package includes holding two back-to-school tax holidays, after holding one holiday in past years. The bill would allow shoppers to avoid paying sales taxes on clothes costing $100 or less, school supplies priced at $50 or less and personal computers that cost $1,500 or less.

The holidays would be held from July 24 to Aug. 6 and from Jan. 1 through Jan. 14 and are projected to save $160.6 million for shoppers.

Exemptions on storm supplies

To help people prepare for the hurricane season, the bill would provide sales-tax exemptions on certain storm supplies, a variety of household goods, pet food and pet medication. The breaks would be offered around the start of hurricane season, from May 27 to June 9, and again near the traditional peak of the season, from Aug. 26 through Sept. 8.

Summer tax savings starting Memorial Day

The bill would expand an effort from the past couple of years aimed at providing sales-tax exemptions around the July 4 holiday. The bill includes what is dubbed “Freedom Summer” from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Exemptions during the period would be provided on such things as:

  • tickets to movies
  • live musicals and sporting events
  • entry to state parks
  • children’s athletic equipment
  • supplies for home pools, boating, camping and fishing

That part of the package would reduce state and local taxes of $229.9 million.

Exemptions over Labor Day weekend

A fourth tax holiday would provide exemptions on power tools and work gear over the Labor Day weekend.

Reduced commercial-lease tax

The biggest-ticket item for businesses would lower a commercial-lease tax from 5.5 percent to 4.5 percent starting in December. That proposal is expected to save businesses $256 million.

In 2021, the Legislature directed the commercial-lease tax to be cut to 2 percent when revenue from sales-tax collections on out-of-state retailers replenishes the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, which became depleted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A House staff analysis projected the trust fund would be made whole in May 2024. That would lead to reducing the commercial-lease tax to 2 percent starting Aug. 1, 2024.

Tax exemptions for these items

  • diapers and incontinence products
  • baby and toddler items
  • oral hygiene products
  • renewable natural-gas equipment
  • cattle fencing
  • firearm storage devices
  • one-year exemption for Energy Star appliances and gas stoves

Source : NBC Miami