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June 01, 2006

... From the Office of the Governor

Contact: Russell Schweiss (850) 488-5394

Governor Bush Signs Back-to-school Sales Tax Holiday Bill

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Jeb Bush today encouraged Floridians and out-of-state shoppers alike to take advantage of the state’s sales tax holiday, which takes effect on Saturday July 22nd and runs until midnight on July 30th. The sales tax holiday is on books, clothing, footwear, and certain school supplies and is expected to save taxpayers more than $39 million.

“I am delighted that millions of Floridians will again have the opportunity to save money during the sales tax holiday,” said Governor Bush. “I’m particularly pleased that shoppers will again be able to save money on books. Reading is a critical part of lifelong learning and success, and the sales tax holiday is a great way for families to save money while encouraging reading.”

Under the sales-tax holiday law, no state or local sales tax will be charged on clothes, footwear, books, and certain accessories selling for $50 or less. School supplies selling for $10 or less will be tax-exempt as well during this sales tax holiday period.

Savings include:

  • Shoppers will pay no state or local option sales tax when buying books with a sales price of $50 or less.
  • Shoppers will pay no state or local option sales taxes on purchases of clothing, footwear, and certain accessories with a sales price of $50 or less per item.
  • Shoppers will pay no state or local option sales tax on purchases of certain school supplies with a sales price of $10 or less per item.

“This sales tax holiday has always coincided with back-to-school shopping -- timed to have the maximum impact for Florida’s families as they purchase clothes, shoes, books, and supplies,” said Senator Daniel Webster. “This is an excellent tax break that helps all Floridians.”

“This legislation has become an annual opportunity to support Florida families with a back-to-school shopping tax break,” said Representative Ray Sansom. “We’re helping millions of Floridians save money while preparing for the new school year.”

The sales tax holiday will save shoppers an estimated $32.1 million in state sales tax and an additional $7.2 million in county sales taxes. Regular sales tax holidays also were held in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005.

“While Florida retailers have become adept at administering this popular holiday, the Department of Revenue is preparing tax information guidelines, including posters and easily-accessible information on our website, to make the implementation go smoothly,” said Dr. Jim Zingale, executive director of the Florida Department of Revenue.

If businesses or taxpayers have questions about the sales tax holiday, they should call the Department of Revenue toll-free Taxpayer Assistance line at 1-800-352-3671 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays. Information also is available through the Department of Revenue web site at www.myflorida.com/dor or by visiting a Department of Revenue Service Center. Service center telephone numbers and locations are available through the web site or by checking the Blue Pages (Government Listings) in your local telephone directory.