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Get the latest coverage of the 2023 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

DeSantis signs a package of tax breaks

A U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form 1040.
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iStockphoto
A U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form 1040.

The package includes a series of tax holidays, reducing a commercial-lease tax and providing permanent sales-tax exemptions for such things as diapers and incontinence products and baby and toddler items.

With two sales-tax “holiday” periods poised to start, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a nearly $1.3 billion package of tax breaks.

Lawmakers unanimously passed the package (HB 7053) on May 5. It includes a series of tax holidays, reducing a commercial-lease tax and providing permanent sales-tax exemptions for such things as diapers and incontinence products and baby and toddler items.

DeSantis did not hold a public event to sign the bill but issued a statement that said, in part, “we are ensuring that our state’s economic success gets passed on to the people that made it possible. I will continue to push smart fiscal policy that will allow Florida families to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. Stronger families make a stronger Florida.”

DeSantis signed the bill two days before the start of a disaster-preparedness holiday that will allow shoppers to avoid paying sales taxes on a variety of storm supplies and household goods. The holiday, which will last through June 9, is geared around the June 1 start of hurricane season.

Also, a three-month collection of tax breaks, dubbed “Freedom Summer,” will start Monday and will last through Sept. 4. That holiday will allow shoppers to avoid paying sales taxes on such things as tickets to movies, live musicals and sporting events, entry to state parks, children’s athletic equipment and supplies for boating, camping and fishing.

“We’ve got an exceptionally robust package out there of sales-tax holidays, two of which kick off almost immediately, with disaster preparedness starting on May 27,” Scott Shalley, president of the Florida Retail Federation, said. “It provides a great opportunity for consumers to save, and it provides a great opportunity to generate retail activity.”

The nearly $1.3 billion total includes some tax cuts that will continue in future years, according to a House staff analysis.