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State lawmaker proposes new sales tax holiday

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Republican state lawmaker from Miami is proposing to make Small Business Saturday a sales tax holiday in Florida.

Shoppers would be able to save at local places on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.

"We constantly hear that small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy and about 3 million folks, 3 million employees are employed by small businesses across the state," Sen. Rene Garcia said.
 
The tax break would equate to about $20 million to $60 million for Floridians -- about the price of a cup of coffee for everyone in the state.

But bike shop owner Joe Mezzina said he supports anything that will get customers through the door.
 
"I'm not opposed to it, anyone saving dollars, saving $7.50 on $100 or whatever," Mezzina said. "The savings for buying a large television, of course, it saves a lot more money."
 
Unlike other sales tax holidays where only certain items get a break, this holiday would include anything from tobacco to alcohol to bikes.
 
As long as a mom-and-pop store makes less than $3.1 million annually, it would be eligible for the tax-free holiday. The sales tax holiday is not expected to bump other holidays like the popular back to school tax break.
 
The National Federation of Independent Businesses said sales tax holidays can make all the difference for a local business.
 
"It could make their day. It could make their month. It could make their year," said Bill Herrle, executive director of NFIB Florida. "So many small retailers are dependent on the Christmas holiday."
 
The bill sponsors hope Floridians include a little local flair in their holiday shopping, if it passes.