Hurricane Sales Tax Period
A proposed piece of legislation up for consideration in the Florida State House of Representatives would eliminate the state sales tax on storm equipment and supplies for a period at the beginning of hurricane season.
Entitled, the Hurricane Sales-Tax Holiday (HB 567), this piece of legislation’s sponsor is Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Fort Walton Beach. The House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee cleared the proposal unanimously, and it has the strong support of Florida Governor Rick Scott. The proposal will likely be included in a package of economic measures along with tax relief for back-to-school purchases and for energy-efficient appliances.
Here are some facts you should know about this proposed legislation:
It’s affordable. All tax-relief measures are accompanied by the concern that they will put the government into the red. However, the Florida legislature estimates that the current budget will result in a surplus of approximately $1.2 billion, more than enough to offset the revenue lost to the Hurricane Sales-Tax Holiday.
The proposed holiday will take place at just the right time to get ready for the hurricane season. Currently, the proposed tax holiday will run from June 1 until June 12. However, Gov. Scott has asked that the holiday be expanded by an additional three-day period.
The legislation will help increase Floridians’ preparedness for the dangers of the coming storm season. Eliminating the sales tax on a variety of items for a two-week span at the beginning of June will draw the public’s attention to the necessity of having an emergency plan in place, and making arrangements for safety and security before a storm hits. It will also ensure equipment, that could make a substantial difference in a crisis, is affordable for everyone.
If the proposal goes into effect, a range of items would be exempt from sales tax. Items that could be included in the final bill are portable generators, light sources, radios, and food storage coolers that can continue to operate even if power is lost, some kind of fuel tanks, various types of batteries, first-aid kits, tarpaulins, and other products that will enable people to remain secure during a hurricane.
It could also boost the economy. In addition to encouraging Floridians to take steps that will prevent storm-related injuries and damage, the tax-holiday will give a boost to sales, putting money into the pockets of local merchants.
If Florida legislators give the Hurricane Sales-Tax Holiday their support, and its proposed measures are put into effect this coming June, then the people of Florida will have all the more reason to make preparations and develop plans of action for the next big storm and its aftermath. For more information on disaster preparation, Florida insurance restoration and recovery, visit the FLA-CAT website today.