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Fla. House Signs Off On Tax 'Holidays'

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BILL SIKES / ASSOCIATED PRESS
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The House has planned a plan that includes a seven-day back-to-school tax holiday in August.

Without comment, the House has backed a tax package that would lead to holding sales-tax “holidays” on back-to-school supplies and hurricane gear and a “freedom week” related to entertainment and outdoor activities.

The House voted 109-3 on Friday to approve the package (HB 7061), which would cut revenue by at least $61.5 million next fiscal year. It also would address several policy issues, such as repealing an unused pool of state money approved in 2014 to help build and renovate professional sports stadiums.

To most Floridians, the key features of the package would likely be the three proposed sales-tax holidays. They include a seven-day back-to-school tax holiday in August, with shoppers able to avoid paying sales taxes on clothes costing $60 or less, school supplies costing $15 or less and personal computers costing less than $1,000.

During a disaster-preparedness holiday over seven days around the June 1 start of hurricane season, shoppers would be able to avoid paying sales taxes on items ranging from tarpaulins and small batteries to portable generators costing up to $750.

The “freedom week” holiday, which would be held the first week of July, would provide a sales-tax exemption on tickets purchased for such things as live music, athletic contests and in-theater movies.

The tickets could be used for events that occur later in the year. House and Senate leaders are expected to work out a final tax package during budget talks in the coming days.