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
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