One day after officially stepping into the race for President, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a $1.3 billion tax cut plan, with much of the savings aimed at consumers and businesses.
The measure (HB 7063) reflects most of what DeSantis asked lawmakers to pass when he unveiled his tax plan in February. But the Legislature opted not to include the permanent cut in sales taxes on over-the-counter pet medications and the one-year sales tax exemption on pet food and “common household items” such as cleaning supplies that DeSantis included in his original plan.
Still, those items are included as part of the sales tax holiday on disaster preparedness items, which will run over two different two-week periods, with the first starting Saturday. That’s one of four sales tax holidays included in the package, which is mainly directed at sales tax exemptions for consumers.
Here’s a breakdown of the main facets of the bill, which takes effect July 1, except for the sales tax holidays that begin before that date:
Baby and toddler products
Diapers, including those for elderly adults with incontinence, will be permanently exempt from sales taxes. So will all baby and toddler products, including clothes, cribs, strollers, monitors, changing tables, breast pumps, wipes and other products. Consumers are estimated to save $186.2 million per year.
No sales taxes will be imposed on oral hygiene products, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash. This is a permanent exemption projected to save buyers $39.8 million per year.
ENERGY STAR appliances
For one year, sales taxes will also be exempt on appliances with an ENERGY STAR label from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, including washers and dryers worth $1,500 or less, water heaters worth $1,500 or less and refrigerators and freezers worth $4,500 or less. Consumers are expected to save $79 million.
Gas ranges and cooktops
When the Joe Biden administration intimated it might look at banning gas stoves because of the reported negative health effects, it led to an outcry among conservatives who saw it as a case of an overzealous nanny state bureaucracy. DeSantis was one of the loudest voices in the backlash, and he included a one-year sales tax exemption on gas stoves in his tax cut plan, which was included in the final version passed by the Legislature. It’s expected to save consumers $6.3 million.
Back by legislative demand, Floridians won’t pay sales taxes on a variety of tickets to sports and cultural events or on outdoor recreation items for three months during the summer.
Dubbed “Freedom Summer,” it was first put in place last year. It will start Monday (Memorial Day) and last through Sept. 4 (Labor Day).
Tickets to concerts, sporting events, movies, museums, plays, ballets, musical theater performances, fairs, festivals and other cultural events will be exempt from sales taxes. So will membership prices for gyms.
And camping, boating and water activity supplies will also be exempt, including pool tubes, floats, inflatable chairs, pool toys up to $35, life jackets up to $75, water skis, wakeboards, knee boards up to $150; paddleboards and surfboards up to $300; canoes and kayaks up to $500; paddles and oars up to $75; snorkels, goggles and swimming masks up to $25; tents up to $200; sleeping bags, hammocks, camping stoves up to $50; rods and reels up to $75; tackle boxes up to $30; sunscreen, sunblock and insect repellent up to $15; sunglasses up to $100; binoculars up to $200; water bottles up to $30; gas or charcoal grills up to $250; bicycle helmets up to $50; and bicycles up to $500.
Summer shoppers are expected to save $229.9 million.
Back-to-school sales tax holidays
Sales tax holidays on back-to-school items have been a staple in Florida for more than 20 years, but most of the time they were for three-day or 10-day periods. This year, there will be two separate two-week holidays — one at the start of the fall semester and one at the start of the spring semester.
From July 24 to Aug. 6, and from Jan. 1, 2024 to Jan. 14, 2024, consumers won’t pay sales taxes on clothing items worth $100 or less, school supplies worth $50 or less, learning aids and jigsaw puzzles worth $30 or less and laptops or personal computers worth $1,500 or less.
Back-to-school shoppers are estimated to save $160.6 million.
Disaster preparedness sales tax holidays
There will also be two different two-week sales tax holidays for disaster preparedness items to help Floridians stock up on hurricane supplies. The first will begin Saturday and run until June 9, the second will start Aug. 26 and last until Sept. 8.
During that time there won’t be sales taxes on flashlights up to $40; radios up to $50; tarpaulins at $100 or less; anchor systems or tie-down kits worth $100 or less; fuel tanks up to $50; small batteries — AA, AAA, C, D, 6-volt or 9-volt, not car batteries — up to $50; food storage cooler up to $60; portable generators worth $3,000 or less; and smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers up to $70 each.
Also, bags of dry cat or dog food worth $100 or less will be exempt, as will $10 cans of wet dog or cat food; pet medications up to $100; portable pet carriers worth $100 or less; can openers worth $15 or less; leashes, collars and muzzles worth $20 per item or less; food or water bowls worth $15 or less; cat litter up to $25 per bag; cat litter pans up to $15; pet waste bags up to $15 and pet beds worth $40 or less.
The following cleaning supplies and other household items worth $30 or less will also be exempt: laundry detergent; fabric softener; dryer sheets; stain removers; bleach; toilet paper; paper towels; paper napkins; tissues; soap; sunscreen and sunblock; dish soap and detergents; disinfectant wipes and sprays; hand sanitizer; and trash bags.
Consumers are projected to save $143.8 million.
Skilled worker tools sales tax holiday
From Sept. 2 to Sept. 8, tools commonly used by skilled workers in trades will be exempt from sales taxes. That includes hand tools up to $50, power tools up to $300, power tool batteries up to $150, work gloves up to $25 per pair, safety glasses up to $50, work boots up to $175, tool belts up to $100, duffle bags up to $50, tool boxes up to $75, shovels up to $50, rakes up to $50, hard hats up to $100, ladders up to $250, fuel cans up to $50 and high visibility safety vests up to $30.
Consumers are projected to save $15.4 million.
Business rent tax rate cut
Starting on Dec. 1, businesses paying a 5.5% tax on commercial rent will see the rate drop to 4.5%. Due to legislation passed in 2021, the tax is projected to be cut to 2% in the summer of 2024, when the unemployment benefits trust fund is replenished to pre-COVID-19 levels. The cut for a few months will save businesses a projected $215.9 million.
Dont Say FLA
May 25, 2023 at 12:25 pm
Florida’s billionaires, including but possibly not limited to Trump, say “Thank you Rhonda!” Everybody else says “this shit is only for one year? WTF Rhonda?”
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