DeSantis proposes new sales tax exemptions on a host of items

(WCJB)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:55 AM EDT
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UPDATED with details from news conference.

BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Gov. Ron DeSanis announced a proposal for a new round of sales tax exemptions Tuesday, on items including diapers and strollers, pet food and medical supplies and equipment.

Speaking in Bradenton, DeSantis announced the new tax breaks, some of them permanent and others temporary. “I’m proud that Florida has a record budget surplus and am happy to propose historic tax relief to Florida families,” he said at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar. “I look forward to working with the Legislature to bring this major relief to Florida families.”

The owner of the restaurant, John Horne, received a call on Monday asking if he would host the governor for his speech. Horne said he was more than happy to have the governor at his restaurant. He also said he agrees with what he had to say.

“That’s as many people as I’ve seen out here on our patio,” said Horne. “We do need to help families. I think this new discount for people who are using our toll roads [is good]. I mean it’s going to help locals. Why not let the tourists pay the biggest chunk of that?”

Aubrey Petrat said she appreciates the effort to bring down costs. However, she’s curious how much it will affect the everyday workers.

“There’s always two sides to it. Yes, it might be helping out the middle class in this way. But, they’re going to be taking away from the middle class in another way. There’s always some type of little add-on that makes it where the middle class won’t benefit,” said Petrat

The proposals reinstate the two-week Back to School tax holiday for families in the fall and adds an additional two-week holiday in the spring for children returning to school after the winter break.

The two holiday periods would save Florida families an estimated $210 million, the governor’s office said.

The new proposals include:

  • A permanent tax exemption for baby and toddler necessities including diapers, baby wipes, clothing, and shoes for children under the age of 5.
  • A permanent tax exemption for cribs and strollers.
  • A permanent tax exemption on items that contain medicinal ingredients and medical equipment to close the gap on medical supplies and equipment that is not sales tax exempt.
  • A 1-year tax exemption for household items under $25 like laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, and trash bags.
  • A 1-year tax exemption for children’s books for children under 17 years old.
  • A 1-year tax exemption for children’s toys designated for children between the ages of 2-12.
  • A 1-year tax exemption for children’s athletic equipment like children’s bikes, footballs, soccer balls, rollerblades, baseballs, baseball bats, etc.
  • A 1-year tax exemption on pet food for household pets and a permanent tax exemption for over-the-counter pet medications such as flea and tick prevention.

The proposal also includes a continuation of tax holidays for the 2023-2024 fiscal year:

  • Two-week Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday
  • One-week Tools and Home Improvement Tax Holiday
  • One-week Freedom Week Tax Holiday
  • One-year Energy Star Appliance Tax Holiday