Sales tax holiday takes first step in Senate

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With little discussion, a Senate committee Monday approved a bill that would create a sales-tax “holiday” for back-to-school shoppers during 10 days in late July and early August.

The vote by the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee was a first step that ultimately could lead to a sales-tax holiday being included in a tax-cut package during the 2018 legislative session, which starts Jan. 9.

Lawmakers usually approve such tax holidays, though the number of tax-free shopping days has varied widely.

Under the Senate bill (SB 686), filed by Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, shoppers would be able to avoid paying sales taxes from July 27 through Aug. 5 on clothes costing $100 or less; school supplies costing $15 or less; and personal computers and accessories costing $1,000 or less.

A staff analysis said state economists have not determined how much tax revenue would be lost with such a holiday.