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June 27, 2005

Florida Retailers Prepare for a Second Sales Tax Holiday; Floridians to Save $38 Million in Sales Tax

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) is working with more than 600,000 Florida retailers to help them prepare for whats expected to be a busy shopping period during the states second sales tax holiday in 2005.

"Floridians embrace sales tax holidays enthusiastically," said Governor Jeb Bush, who signed the regular sales tax holiday into law June 20. "The hurricane-preparedness sales tax holiday in June encouraged Floridians to prepare for the 2005 hurricane season. By buying books tax-free and encouraging a lifetime habit of reading, Floridians can prepare their families for a lifetime of success."

Florida taxpayers are expected to save nearly $38 million in sales taxes during a July 23-31 sales tax holiday on purchases of clothing, footwear, school supplies, books, and certain other items.

Under House Bill 101, no state or local sales tax will be charged on clothes, footwear, books, and certain accessories valued at $50 or less during a nine-day period beginning at 12:01 a.m. July 23. The sales tax holiday ends at midnight July 31. School supplies valued at $10 or less will be tax-exempt as well during this sales tax holiday period.

The law provides that:

  • Shoppers will pay no state or local option sales tax when buying books valued at $50 or less. Governor Bush pioneered this provision last year to encourage families to buy and read books with their children as part of his "Just Read, Florida!" initiative. Families that read frequently tend to have higher performance in school.

  • Shoppers will pay no state or local option sales taxes on purchases of clothing, footwear, and certain accessories with a selling 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.

The sales tax holiday will save shoppers an estimated $31.3 million in state sales tax and an additional $6.6 million in county sales taxes. Regular sales tax holidays also were held in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2004.

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) has mailed complete information to more than 608,000 Florida businesses, explaining how to implement the sales tax holiday. Retailers affected by the sales tax holiday should carefully review this information, said Dr. Jim Zingale, executive director of the Department. "Recent sales tax holidays have gone very smoothly, as businesses gain experience in implementing this legislation," Zingale said. "However, the law on tax holidays changes somewhat from year to year. Thus, businesses should review the tax holiday information closely."

If businesses 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 7 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.