Inflation relief: Florida 2022 Sales Tax Holidays. In inflationary times, every bit of savings can help. Florida sales tax runs anywhere from 6% to 8%, depending upon the county where you are making the purchase. Several years ago the Florida legislature started sales tax “holidays,” beginning with the back-to-school season.
Flush with a budget surplus this year, the legislature passed several more holidays which begin this summer. Some of them last a week, while others last up to 2 years. For a major purchase you might be considering, it pays to know the timetables.
Disaster Preparedness: May 28 – June 10, 2022
This has been an annual sales tax holiday for a few years now. If you are in or near Florida, and getting low on batteries, bungee cords, coolers, tarps, portable generator(s?), or several other items listed in the link below, you can save the sales tax by waiting until the week of May 28 to stock up.
Of note, the holiday includes all kinds of pet provisions – pet food, pet kennels, pet beds, leashes, and even pet waste disposal bags.
Here is the link to the 2022 list of exempted disaster preparedness items:
Big Deal – Home Hardening Disaster Preparedness: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2024
This one is a bigger deal and can save major bucks. Impact-resistant windows, doors, and garage doors will be fully exempt from sales tax for 2 years starting July 1.
So if you are planning a major home improvement, talk to your contractor about placing the order after June 30. On a $5,000 order, in a 7% sales tax county, that’s a $350 savings.
Unlike most of the other holidays, this exemption also applies to commercial orders.
More detail on home hardening exemptions here: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-07.pdf
Also Big Deal – Appliances: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023
Thinking about replacing appliances? Wait until July 1 and you can save the sales tax on Energy Star appliances. High-end appliances are not included, and the definition of “high-end” appears to be about $1500 ($3000 for refrigerators). $1500 x 7% = $105 in possible savings.
More detail on appliance exemptions here: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-05.pdf
Children’s Books: May 14 – August 14, 2022
Sales tax on any book written for children under 12 is waived all summer. One of my personal favorites: The Four Money Bears by Mac Gardner. This website also has a fun financial literacy game for kids called “Berryville.”
Fun Events, Outdoor Supplies and Annual Passes: July 1 – July 7, 2022
This sales tax holiday began during the pandemic in 2020. Event tickets, camping supplies, paddle boards, kayaks, binoculars, grills, and bicycles are some of the larger ticket items included in the holiday.
Of note also – annual or season passes for museums, theater series, ballet, and state parks.
New for 2022: pool supplies and parts.
The complete list for events and supplies during “Freedom Week” is here: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-04.pdf
Children’s Diapers, Clothing and Shoes: July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023
This has been proposed but blocked in the past. Finally parents and guardians of young kids will get a little relief.
But this is one of two holidays (the other being back-to-school) where the state outlines what is excluded, in addition to what is included. And, as I wrote in 2021, the inclusions and exclusions aren’t always easy to guess.
What constitutes “clothing” and “shoes” for this holiday for toddlers and babies? A few head-scratchers:
Snow ski boots – Yes; Fishing boots/waders – No
Snow ski suits – Yes; Skin diving suits – No
Hunting vests – Yes; Life jackets – No
Garden gloves – Yes; Bicycle gloves – No
Click for the complete list of diapers, clothing and shoes: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-06.pdf
Back-to-School: July 25 – August 7, 2022
New exemptions for 2022 include learning aids like puzzles, flash cards, and games.
See this year’s complete back-to-school list: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-08.pdf
New Holidays for 2022: Labor Day/Skilled Workers September 3 – September 9, 2022
Larger-ticket items on the “Tool Time” holiday include power tools under $300, power tool batteries, toolboxes, and work boots. It also includes shop lights, plumbing tools, and duffle bags.
More detail on “Tool Time” exemptions here: https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/Documents/TIP_22A01-09.pdf
A Lack of Preparation Story
During Hurricane Irma in 2017, the middle of the spaghetti models 5 days out showed the storm was likely going up Florida’s east coast. This is the opposite coast from where we live. My husband and I got double-busy with clients who wanted to squeeze in appointments before it hit. We got caught up in the work and ignored our own preparations. I didn’t fill up my car, and we didn’t check our stock of Coleman stove propane canisters. By the time the forecast shifted, there was no gas to be found – for the car, for the stove – of any kind, anywhere.
Irma left us without power for 7 days. Cooking on a tiny charcoal grill in the backyard got old quickly. After 3 days, when the charcoal started getting low, the temperature inside climbed to 83 with humidity of 100, and the frozen fish was rotting, we called it quits and found a hotel with electricity that had managed to reopen.
For a Florida native, experienced with hurricanes, whose job title includes the word “planner,” it felt like I should have done better.
Next time I will pay attention to all the strings on the spaghetti model, not just the ones in the middle.
The sales tax waiver is a needed nudge for procrastinators like me. Disasters of all different sorts happen. Take advantage of the holidays to prepare yourself, and enjoy a little inflation relief.
Have you found a great deal using a sales tax holiday? Please do share by leaving a comment.