Senators back two ‘holiday’ periods for hurricane supplies

Posted at 4:17 PM, Jan 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 16:17:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (The News Service of Florida) - Floridians would be able to buy hurricane supplies without paying sales taxes during two weeks in June and July, under a bill approved Tuesday by a key Senate committee.

The Finance and Tax Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously backed the proposal (SB 620), which would create tax “holidays” from June 1 through June 7 and from July 6 through July 12.

The bill includes numerous items that would be exempt from sales taxes during the periods, such as portable radios costing $75 or less; tarps costing $50 or less; gas or diesel fuel tanks costing $25 or less; cell-phone chargers costing $40 or less; carbon-monoxide detectors costing $75 or less; and portable generators costing $1,000 or less.

The annual six-month hurricane season starts June 1. Finance and Tax Chairwoman Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, said the two tax-free periods would cover the start of hurricane season and a later period when people start becoming more aware of hurricane threats.

“We all wait until we get the notice that the hurricane is upon us, and we all go and line up at Home Depot and there’s nothing left,” bill sponsor Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, said. “So I think, having this in the back of our mind, we’re saving money, people will go ahead and buy the items ahead of time.”

The proposal is now slated to go to the Senate Appropriations Committee.