Florida's back-to-school sales tax holiday begins next Friday


  • Adobe Stock
Parents: You’ve survived the summer. To reward you, Florida’s back-to-school tax holiday is set for Aug. 2-6. That means there will be no sales tax on a variety of items, including:
  • Footwear, clothing and certain accessories ($60 or less per item)
  • Some school supplies ($15 or less per item)
  • Personal computers and certain computer-related accessories ($1,000 or less per item, when purchased for noncommercial home or personal use)
  • If the personal computer you buy is over $1,000, then only the first $1,000 of the total price will be tax-exempt.
There are obviously a few other caveats to the tax holiday (price limits, as stated above) and the fact that you can’t buy any of the eligible items in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging or airport (that one’s so Floridians, not tourists, benefit).

In rare cases, stores where sales of the above items comprise less than 5% of a retailer’s sales of tangible personal property in the prior calendar year may notify state officials that they are not participating in the back-to-school sales tax holiday provided.

Critics of tax holidays say that politicians love them because the holidays makes them look like they’re helping constituents. The argument is that the holidays distract from the bigger conversation about how tax policy can better help the families and people who need relief.

Dylan Grundman, a senior policy analyst at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, told the New York Times that tax holidays actually put a damper on state revenue and don’t necessarily deliver the business results they promise.

“People shift purchases, but don’t increase their overall spending,” he said. “So the boost to business doesn’t really materialize.”

Some families, however, are probably happy to get a small break.

Download a complete list of tax-exempt items via floridarevenue.com.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.