Tax-Free Weeks are coming for Hurricane Supplies & Back to School Supplies

Hurricane season is from June 1 through Nov. 30. Florida lawmakers at the end of the recent 2019 legislative season, approved a tax “holiday” that overlaps with the start of the stormy season, in which several hurricane preparedness supplies won’t be subject to a sales tax.

For those who need to stock up on disaster supplies like a generator, batteries or tarps, the 2019 tax “holiday” extends from Friday, May 31 to midnight Thursday, June 6.

The weeklong exemption on sales taxes on hurricane supplies includes:

▪ Portable self-powered light sources, like flashlights, selling for $20 or less

▪ Portable self-powered radios, including two-way radios or weather-band radios, selling for $50 or less

▪ Tarps, other waterproof sheets, ground anchors or ties, also for $50 or less

▪ Gas or diesel fuel tanks that are sold for $25 or less

▪ AA, AAA, C, D, 6-volt or 9-volt batteries sold for $30 or less (car and boat batteries are excluded)

▪ Non-electric coolers up to $30

▪ Portable generators sold for $750 or less

▪ Reusable ice sold for $10 or less

Lawmakers also approved a back-to-school sales tax “holiday” in early August that exempts purchases of clothes, shoes, computers and various school supplies from sales taxes as well.

If you’re shopping for back-to-school supplies this year, mark your calendar for the first weekend of August. That’s when a tax “holiday” approved by state lawmakers will apply to clothes, backpacks and various school supplies, meaning such items will be exempt from sales taxes when purchased.

The tax-exempt period runs from Friday, Aug. 2 to midnight Tuesday, Aug. 6 and is part of a $121 million package that legislators approved in May. Here’s what’s included in the exemption:

▪ Clothing, shoes, wallets, or bags, including handbags and backpacks (but not briefcases or suitcases) that are $60 or less

▪ School supplies sold for $15 or less, including pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, notebooks, paper, tape, scissors and calculators

▪ Personal computers or personal computer-related accessories sold for $1,000 or less, including electronic book readers, laptops, desktops, handhelds, tablets, or tower computers (but excluding cellphones)

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