State House tax holidays: clothing, shoes, tents, snorkels, fishing rods, and insect repellent, but no diapers
A multimillion-dollar tax package approved Friday by the House Ways & Means Committee includes everything from a “Freedom Week” sales tax holiday and a slew of sales tax exemptions — but no exemptions for layers.
What’s considered the family-friendly state home didn’t want to include diapers in the mix of items that exempt state sales tax at certain times in Florida. (Exemptions may also include county discretionary sales surcharges.)
For proposed sales tax exemptions for 2021-22, diapers became a talking point when Orlando State Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat, attempted to include the baby item in the main tax package, proposing a short amendment.
Anyone who has had a baby or had to change a baby’s bottom knows that diapers are essential and expensive for moms and dads and especially for low-income families. “The need is really there,” Eskamani said. She added that adult diapers would also be included.
State Representative Bobby Payne, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, suggested that a sales tax exemption on diapers could be included in a separate bill in the future.
And in the end, Eskamani withdrew her amendment, saying she didn’t want to force a vote on the issue just yet. Eskamani is the ranking Democrat on the committee.
Meanwhile, the committee voted 15 to 1 on the massive package, with only Eskamani in opposition. The entire House and Senate, and ultimately Gov. Ron DeSantis, would have to approve the package for it to become law.
The package includes several sales tax holidays, such as a seven-day “back to school” holiday from August 6-12 – an exemption for items $60 or less for items ranging from clothing and shoes to wallets and handbags, as well as school supplies that cost $15 or less per item, according to the House’s analysis of the tax package.
A “disaster preparedness” sales tax holiday would go through
May 28 to June 3, 2021. Sales exemptions in this category include items such as a self-powered portable radio or a gasoline or diesel fuel tank.
A “freedom week” sales tax holiday would run from July 1 to July 7, allowing sales tax exemptions for admissions and recreational activities such as live music and sporting events.
These are just a few of the sales tax exemptions. The House analysis calculates that the estimated tax exemptions will cost at least $100 million, based on state and local figures.