Will Florida have two back-to-school tax holidays next year?

Florida Politics | By Jacob Ogles | February 2, 2023

The Governor wants to have a second tax holiday when students return from winter break.

Florida may soon have back-to-school tax holidays both before the new school year and when students return after semester break.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposed budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year includes two separate periods for parents to buy clothes and school supplies without paying sales taxes.

Florida since the late 1990s has usually offered a sales tax holiday just before the start of the school year. Last year, the holiday was stretched out for 14 days.

Now DeSantis wants to see another period for families to get a break on school supplies before returning to class after winter break.

That’s a period when many students in middle or high school will start semester-long classes that may require new supplies. College students in state universities will start a new semester after the winter break as well, with some starting college for the first time in the spring semester.

The Governor’s budget noted Florida’s per capita state tax collections — about $2,002 — is the second lowest among all states. That’s despite Florida relying on those revenues more since the state charges no income tax.

While the tax holiday last year was on track to save Florida families $100 million, the Governor’s Office this year estimates having two holidays will save them $210 million.

It’s unclear how long DeSantis wants the tax holidays to last this year. But the budget proposal made clear what exemptions families will enjoy.

“The holidays cover clothing up to $100, school supplies up to $50, and personal computers and related accessories priced $1,500 or less,” the proposal states.

As far as other tax holidays, DeSantis wants to keep a 14-day period in place where there will be no state sales tax for disaster preparedness supplies. He also would like to continue “Freedom Week,” a period around Independence Day with tax breaks on outdoor and recreational merchandise.

The Legislature will take the Governor’s proposal under consideration and form its own budget during the Legislative Session. That budget will then be submitted back to the Governor for his signature.

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