Retailers hope Floridians will stock up on storm supplies during an upcoming sales-tax “holiday,” particularly as the increasingly active hurricane season could bring a storm toward the state by the end of next week.
The state’s second “disaster preparedness” tax holiday of the year started Saturday and continues through Sept. 8.
The tax holiday comes as the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday was monitoring two weather systems in the Atlantic with a high probability of becoming tropical depressions late this week.
“Maybe in June, hurricanes weren’t so much on everybody’s mind. Clearly, the tropics have lit up over the past few weeks and people are concerned about hurricanes,” Florida Retail Federation President Scott Shalley said. “I think it (the tax holiday) is a great opportunity to get out, get prepared and save some money as we enter the heart of the hurricane season.”
This is the first year the state has held two disaster-preparedness tax holidays. The first period was from May 27 to June 9, around the June 1 start of the hurricane season. State economists have projected the two periods will save shoppers $143.8 million in sales taxes.
Florida lawmakers this spring passed a wide-ranging tax bill (HB 7063) that included a series of tax holidays. That included a three-month holiday, dubbed “Freedom Summer,” which has provided sales-tax exemptions on recreation and outdoor items and entertainment events. The Freedom Summer holiday ended Sept. 4.