Fresh off efforts to empower parents’ rights in their children’s education and promoting stronger steps to protect the unborn, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced a new round of family-friendly policies.
The governor last week approved a $1.2-billion tax relief package – reportedly the largest in state history – that provided 10 tax “holidays,” many of which are critical to families.
For example, baby diapers will not be taxed from July 1, the start of the new state fiscal year, until June 30, 2023. Also tax-free during that time are clothes and shoes for kids age 5 or under.
That also includes items many may not think of, such as bathing suits, fitness, athletic and outdoor gear, hats, jackets, raincoats, sleepwear, suits, and school uniforms.
But that is not all. Beginning Saturday, children’s books will be tax-free until Aug. 14.
The sales tax “holiday” for back-to-school purchases – such as new clothes, school supplies, educational toys, and other items – now runs more than a month, from June 25 to Aug. 7.
DeSantis also suspended the sales tax for events that can draw families – like sporting and cultural events, movies, museums, festivals, concerts, and fairs – from July 1-7, which was dubbed “Freedom Week.”
Finally, the governor halted the state gas tax throughout the month of October.
“Florida’s economy has consistently outpaced the nation, but we are still fighting against inflationary policies imposed on us by the Biden administration,” DeSantis said in a statement.
“In Florida, we are going to support our residents and help them afford the goods that they need. Florida has been fiscally responsible, so we are in a good position to provide meaningful relief for families, right now.”
Republican House Speaker Chris Sprowls said in a statement, “A bill like this has never been more needed than it is right now. Reckless federal spending sent inflation rates spiraling higher than we’ve seen in generations, and Floridians are feeling the impacts. From tools to diapers to books for summer reading, this billion-dollar tax package includes something for every Floridian, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Republican Senate President Wilton Simpson added in prepared remarks, “Florida cannot independently fix or outrun all of the problems leading to the cost increases that are wreaking havoc on families, especially our most vulnerable. However, we are working to ease the pain with broad-based sales tax relief and a month-long gas tax holiday. This bill supports growing families, Floridians looking to prepare their homes for severe weather, and the blue collar working men and women of our state who are trying their best to get by amid record-high gas prices and inflation that many of us have not seen in our lifetime. We are increasing the length of sales tax holidays for hurricane season and back-to-school, and also creating new short-term and long-term sales tax relief on key items needed by families.”
At the press conference in Ocala where DeSantis announced the tax-relief package, Shevaun Harris, secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, added that the tax breaks “will have a major impact to families with young children across the state, including the thousands of wonderful foster and adoptive parents who have opened up their homes to children in our care.”
“For the next year, as the governor stated, baby and toddler clothing, shoes, and diapers will be exempt from taxation. Florida is home to more than 1 million children under the age of five and welcomes 600 newborns each day. As a mom, I know firsthand how helpful this relief will be.”