Florida Senate Passes Bill Providing $658 Million in Large-Scale Tax Relief | Florida

(The Center Square) – As inflation continues to send consumer prices soaring, the Florida Legislature passed a series of long- and short-term sales tax relief measures designed to to help.

In addition to passing the state’s $112.1 billion budget, the Senate on Monday passed HB 7071, which would provide $658 million in large-scale tax savings to families across the state. .

“Florida cannot independently solve or overcome all of the cost-increasing issues that are wreaking havoc on families, especially the most vulnerable,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby. “However, we are working to ease the pain with widespread sales tax relief and a one-month gas tax exemption. This bill supports growing families, Floridians who are looking to weather-prepare their homes and the blue-collar men and women who are doing their best to get by in an environment of record gas prices and inflation that many of us haven’t seen in our lifetime.

The bill includes several sales tax holidays and a range of tax reductions.

As gasoline prices began to rise steadily last year, Governor Ron DeSantis called on the legislature to lower the gasoline tax. He did this by creating a new gasoline tax holiday for the month of October that would reduce fuel tax by $0.25 a gallon.

The legislature also voted to create a new seven-day Skilled Worker Tools Tax Holiday, from September 3-9, designed to help skilled workers. Zero-rated items include certain hand and power tools, work boots, safety equipment, shop lights, tool boxes and belts, plumbing and electrical equipment, and manuals and industry codes.

The Legislature also expanded several existing sales tax exemptions.

The back-to-school sales tax holiday will now last 14 days, from July 25 to August 7. computer accessories, including non-recreational software costing $1,500 or less, will be exempt from tax.

The Legislature also extended the Freedom Week sales tax holiday.

“Tickets, memberships and passes, purchased during the Freedom Week sales tax holiday for use from July 1 through December 31, 2022, are tax exempt,” according to the bill. This includes purchases to attend musical, sporting and cultural events; tickets to movies and museums; single entry or season tickets for theater and dance performances; state park admission and annual passes; and use of fitness facilities. Duty-free purchases will also include boating and water activity supplies, camping supplies, fishing supplies, general outdoor supplies and sports equipment.

To prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, the legislature extended the sales tax exemption for disaster preparedness for 14 days between May 28 and June 10. Zero-rated items include flashlights and lanterns costing $40 or less; radios costing $50 or less; tarps costing $100 or less; coolers costing $60 or less; batteries costing $50 or less; smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors costing $70 or less; generators costing $1,000 or less; and some items needed to safely evacuate pets.

Storm preparedness and energy conservation efforts have also seen other types of tax relief.

The bill would create a two-year sales tax exemption, from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024, on retail sales of impact-resistant windows, doors and garage doors. Purchasing such items can help reduce hurricane damage.

It would also create a one-year sales tax exemption – from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 – on the retail sale of certain ENERGY STAR appliances, including fridge/freezers sold for $3,000 or less, and water heaters, washers or dryers selling for $1,500 or less.

The bill creates new sales tax exemptions related to retail purchases for babies, toddlers and children.

The bill, if signed into law, would create a one-year sales tax exemption from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023 on the retail sale of infant and toddler clothing and footwear primarily to children under 5 years old. for more than one million children under five in Florida and nearly 600 babies born every day.

The bill would also create a one-year sales tax exemption from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 on the retail sale of children’s diapers, including single-use diapers, reusable diapers and diapers. reusable diapers.

It would also create a three-month sales tax exemption, from May 14 to August 14, on the retail sale of all children’s books to encourage summer reading.

The bill provides a series of tax relief measures for homeowners.

It permanently halves the state sales tax on new mobile homes from 6% to 3%. It also creates a permanent sales tax exemption for fencing materials used to replace, repair or build farm fences on farmland, and exempts all trailers used for farm and farm work from sales tax.

The Legislature also created a new state code to provide tax relief to homeowners affected by a sudden and unforeseen collapse of an apartment building. The code requires the tax collector to abate all taxes for destroyed parcels and requires the real estate appraiser to notify owners of the abatement.

Another new state code was created to provide for the prorated refund of property taxes on residential properties rendered uninhabitable by a catastrophic event. The bill defines a “catastrophic event” as a calamity or misfortune that is not caused by the owner. If a residential property is deemed uninhabitable for 30 days or more, the owner may be reimbursed a portion of their property taxes for the period the property was uninhabitable.

The bill also increases the property tax exemptions for widows, widowers, the blind, and the totally and permanently disabled from $500 to $5,000 tenfold, and increases the number of active deployments eligible for the exemption. property tax.

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