TAMPA — Florida residents will have three separate sales tax holidays this year when they’re preparing for a storm, preparing for school, or hoping to save money on energy.
The state will also permanently waive taxes on some items, including some pet foods and kids’ safety helmets.
A package of bills signed into law Monday authorizes the sales tax holidays, saving 7 percent in Hillsborough County, and if past years are a guide, the holidays will attract huge crowds at stores.
The first nine-day holiday will run May 31 through June 8, and waives taxes on hurricane supplies, including:
♦ Flashlights priced at $20 or less
♦ Tarps priced at $50 or less
♦ First aid kits priced at $30 or less
♦ Battery packages priced at $30 or less
♦ Portable generators priced at $750 or less
That holiday means about $3.7 million in waived taxes, according to the Florida Retail Federation.
The second holiday is shorter, at three days, and will run Aug. 1-3, but has perhaps the broadest range of items, covering supplies with an item price of $15 or less, clothing under $100 and waives the first $750 of the cost of electronics such as tablets or computer equipment. That could mean $40 million in waived taxes, the FRF estimates.
The third three-day holiday will run Sept. 19-21 and cover purchases of Energy Star products and “WaterSense” products priced at $1,500 or less, meaning $2 million in waived taxes, the FRF estimates.
The overall tax package also establishes some other, more specific tax waivers, including a three-year tax exemption on “cement mixing drums,” and permanent tax waiver on child restraint seats for vehicles, “therapeutic pet foods available through a licensed veterinarian,” and a tax waiver on college meal plans.