Push is on to continue state’s back-to-school sales tax holiday

Photo courtesy of TexarkanaFYI

Back to school shopping is one of the most expensive times of the year for many families. Furthermore, with many kids physically returning to school for the first time in a year and a half because of COVID-19, a few parents may be in for genuine sticker  shock.

“During COVID-19  being at home all day my son Jaeson Nickeo who is in the seventh grade at Raa Middle outgrew a lot of his clothes. During the sales tax holiday in 2021 I basically had to buy a new closet of clothes for my son. The back to school sales tax holiday is very needed for many students and parents. Their clothes can be expensive, especially with the economy. One pair of shoes can cost me around $50-$100. My son’s feet grow so much that I have to continue to buy more shoes every year. So this holiday is something that I know many parents appreciate,” Tallahassee resident Melanie Nicko said.

For the back-to-school sales tax holiday,  qualified items usually include necessities such as clothing, footwear, backpacks and school supplies. The increase of technology has additionally pushed a few states to incorporate some technology products in the sales tax holiday.

Florida Senate Bill 500, filed by Senator Keith Perry  (R-Gainesville), aims to continue the state’s back-to-school sales tax holiday. It would provide exemptions from a sales tax on the retail sale of certain clothing, wallets, bags, school supplies, personal computers, and personal computer-related accessories during a specified timeframe. It specifies locations where the exemptions do not apply and authorizes certain dealers to opt out of participating in the tax holiday.

Many states hold back to school sales tax holidays for a week or the weekend before kids head back to school for the new academic year.

Back to school sales tax started in New York, which instituted the first modern sales tax holiday for clothing in 1997 to compete for business with neighboring New Jersey, which exempts clothing from the state sales tax. Since then, many states have experimented with sales tax holidays, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sen. Perry and others hope to continue giving parents, teachers and students a 10-day sales tax holiday with (SB 500), extending the holiday for 2022, according to Renzo Downey at Florida Politics.

Some states have not yet released their dates for back to school sales tax holidays for the 2022-2023 academic year.