Freedom Week Brings Economic Boost

Todays News

Photo courtesy Pixabay

The Florida Legislature this year decided the days around Independence Day could best be celebrated with tax breaks. Starting last Thursday, July 1, and continuing through Wednesday, July 7, the state has exempted certain purchases of outdoor items and event tickets from state sales tax.

Lawmakers say the event should both be a welcome respite for many who spent much of the last year in quarantine and also give a boost to Florida retailers after what was a trying year for many businesses and an unpredictable one for all.

“I’m hoping the tax break encourages people to go for those summer activity purchases they may have been considering,” said state Rep. Fiona McFarland, R-Sarasota. “And shop local. It’s a win-win to give Floridians a little savings and help local businesses. After the tough year we’ve all had, it’s a small token from the government to the people.”

State economists figure nearly $54 million in sales tax relief will come over the course of the seven days. Exempt items include music and sporting events, movie tickets, state park entry, most live entertainment events and passes to fitness clubs. Merchandise excused from sales tax includes the first $5 to $10 spent on bait, $15 on sunscreen or bug repellant, $25 on snorkels, goggles or swim masks, $30 on water bottles, lanterns, flashlights or tackle boxes, $40 on sporting equipment, $50 on bike helmets, hydration packs, sleeping bags, hammocks, camp stoves, camp chairs or safety flares, $75 on coolers, rods, reels, life jackets, paddles or oars, $100 on sunglasses, $200 on binoculars or tents, $250 on grills, $300 on surfboards or paddleboards, and $500 on canoes or kayaks.

“I do hope it helps bring more customers into stores and businesses but more importantly it gives families the chance to save some of their hard earned dollars on those items that are necessities for them and their children,” said Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton.

Photo courtesy Pixabay

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