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July 23, 2004

Shoppers Primed, Stores Stocked for Summer Tax Holidays

Florida retail merchants, gas stations and convenience stores are putting the finishing touches on preparations for a sales tax holiday that begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 24, and a gas tax cut that goes into gear August 1.

Neither state nor local sales tax will apply to books, clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $50 or less during the nine-day sales tax holiday. No sales tax will apply to certain school supplies selling for $10 or less. Under legislation adopted by Florida lawmakers and signed by Governor Bush, the sales tax holiday runs through midnight, August 1. Statewide, Floridians will save an estimated $35.5 million in tax during the sales tax holiday.

Meanwhile, gasoline retailers are gearing up to implement a one-month cut in the state's gasoline tax, to begin at 12:01 a.m. August 1. Tax will be reduced by 8 cents per gallon during the 2004 Florida gas tax cut.

Under the terms of the sales tax holiday:

  • All books selling for $50 or less during the tax holiday will be tax-free during the sales tax holiday. Governor Jeb Bush asked that this new feature be included in the sales tax law as part of his initiative to strongly encourage reading.
  • Clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $50 or less will be tax-free. Shoppers need not be buying for back-to-school needs - all eligible items are tax-free during the sales tax holiday.
  • Information was distributed by a large retailer Friday indicating that the sales tax holiday applies to items of clothing valued at $100 or less, but this information is incorrect. The actual price limit provided by law is $50 for each item of clothing, footwear, certain accessories, or books. However, there is no limit on the total number of qualified items that shoppers can buy tax free, as long as each item is purchased for $50 or less.
  • No state or local sales tax applies to certain school supplies selling for $10 or less during the tax holiday.

State law requires gasoline retailers, wholesalers, terminal suppliers, and importers to pass these tax savings along to consumers, and authorizes Attorney General Charlie Crist's Office of Statewide Prosecutor to investigate cases in which the tax reductions aren't passed to consumers.

For more information about the sales or gas tax holiday, please call 1-800-352-3671 or visit the Department of Revenue Internet site at www.myflorida.com/dor.