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Sales tax holiday this weekend includes personal computers

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Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013 5:10 pm | Updated: 5:36 pm, Fri Aug 2, 2013.

SARASOTA COUNTY - It's that time of year for back to school supplies, and with school just a few weeks away, parents are starting to buy the pencils, notebooks and computers. And in an effort to make consumerism a little more financially bearable this weekend, there is a tax break.

Stores like the Walmart in South Venice are gearing up. "We expect for this to be a very busy weekend for us."

The sales tax holiday covers a number of items for kids heading back to school and for everyone else, including lots of clothes, shoes and other accessories, which are included if they are under $75.

Also covered are many school supplies up to $15 each -- but not all. Things like masking tape, printer paper, and staplers are not covered.

This year, some other big ticket items are. Computers and tablets are now exempt up to $750 -- from laptops and desktops to even tablets and e-readers. Even items that go with them, like keyboards, modems, and routers are tax-free.

"Tablets were not on the list last year. Tablets were added, especially with the iPad mini and the different Android tablets available."

Some might say that even though you’re only saving 7%, it adds up. The Florida Retail Federation predicts $400 million in goods will be sold this weekend. It's believed the average family alone will spend more than $634 getting ready for back to school.

"It's an environment where people are going to spend the money anyway. Why not do it on tax free weekend when you can save that additional money?"

Florida lawmakers approved the tax free holiday again this year in hopes of helping families and retailers, saying sales of other items also pick up while people are out and about.

The National Retail Federation predicts spending will be down this year by around $50 per family. However, the Florida Retail Federation says sales will climb in the Sunshine State due to those new exemptions on the electronics.

The tax holiday runs through August 4th.

For a detailed list of what is and isn't included in the tax holiday, visit http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/tips/pdf/tip13a01-04.pdf.

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