Florida’s sales tax holidays aren’t free [Tampa Bay Times]

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

At the signing of the 2021-22 tax cut package, state leaders praised the addition of a new seven-day sales tax holiday for select admissions and items related to recreational activities, touting the new “Freedom Week” sales tax holiday as an opportunity for Floridians to celebrate their freedom from pandemic-induced lockdowns.

As a matter of public policy, there is no denying that sales tax holidays are popular with lawmakers. Since the passage of Florida’s first ever holiday in 1998, lawmakers have enacted more than two dozen sales tax exemption periods. However, does a sales tax holiday like “Freedom Week” help Floridians celebrate their freedom?

Read more on tampabay.com

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