ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday signed into law a wide-ranging tax cut package that authorizes three separate sales tax holidays in the next few months.
Scott signed the legislation at the kickoff of the Governor's Hurricane Conference. The bill includes a nine-day sales tax holiday for hurricane preparation supplies.
Starting May 31, Floridians can purchase batteries, flashlights, tarps, and even generators worth $750 or less without having to pay the state's 6 percent sales tax.
"This is going to go a long way to helping Floridians prepare for hurricane season, making sure they have all the supplies they need to get themselves and their families ready," said Bryan Koon, the state's emergency management director.
The legislation also authorizes a three-day back-to-school sales tax holiday in August.
Under the bill (HB 5601), shoppers would not have to pay sales taxes on any clothes worth $100 or less, school supplies worth $15 or less or on the first $750 of the cost of a personal computer. This holiday will be held Aug. 1-3.
The third sales tax holiday will be held Sept. 19-21 on the purchase of energy-efficient appliances costing $1,500 or less.
The tax cut package is a portion of roughly $500 million worth of tax and fee cuts that were approved this spring by the Florida Legislature. Scott already signed into a law a rollback of annual auto registration fees. The average motorist will pay about $25 less a year on registration fees starting in September.
Scott asked for many of the tax cuts passed by legislators, but he did not get everything he wanted. The governor, for example, wanted legislators to lower the sales tax placed on commercial rent.
Legislators also rejected Scott's request to keep alive his push to eliminate the corporate income tax. Scott at one time vowed to get rid of the tax in seven years, but has been forced to scale it back due to legislative resistance.
Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne and the House member in charge of pushing tax cut bills, said earlier this month the corporate income tax cut got "squeezed out" after legislators went along with the size of the auto registration fee rollback sought by the governor.
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