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‘Tool Time’ Tax Holiday Starts Saturday

Do-it-yourselfers and remodelers now have their own sales-tax free Fla. holiday. From Sept. 2 to Sept. 9, there’s no state sales tax on tools, work gloves, etc.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s first “tool time” sales-tax holiday on tools and other home-repair and construction items will kick off during the Labor Day weekend.

The seven-day holiday, part of a wide-ranging tax bill passed this year, will allow shoppers to avoid paying sales taxes on numerous home-repair and construction items from Saturday through Sept. 9.

“I think it’s just to give a boost to our skilled workers,” Florida Retail Federation President Scott Shalley said. “The Legislature and the governor had a lot of insight to say, ‘Let’s give them a break around Labor Day here.’ I think it’s a great time, particularly with the inflationary pressures we are seeing right now.”

The name of the holiday loosely comes from a home-improvement show within the 1990s sitcom “Home Improvement.” The idea of the discounts is to recognize the efforts of workers, lawmakers said.

“If you think about a year-and-a-half or two years ago, the first time we started hearing the word COVID, one of the things you started hearing after that is who’s … essential workers,” Rep. Joe Harding, R-Williston, said as he argued for the tax holiday March 2 on the House floor. “We heard a lot about our first responders and our health-care workers. But we also learned really quickly how essential the people that pick up a tool bag and drive a work truck every day are.”

The tax package (HB 7071), which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in May, also included tax holidays for purchasing disaster-preparation items before hurricane season, back-to-school items before children went back to classes and entertainment and recreation items around Independence Day. Lawmakers and DeSantis also approved a period when people could buy children’s books without paying sales taxes and gave year-long tax exemptions on items such as baby diapers and Energy Star appliances. Also, the state gasoline tax will be suspended for a month in October.

State economists have projected the tool-time holiday will reduce state revenue by $9.6 million and local revenue by $2.8 million.

Dominic Calabro, president and CEO of the non-profit Florida TaxWatch, said the holiday also will help “everyday homeowners.”

Here are some of the purchases exempt from sales taxes during the tool-time holiday:

  • Work gloves that cost $25 or less.
  • Hand tools, LED flashlights, safety glasses, protective coveralls and duffle bags that cost $50 or less.
  • Tool boxes that cost $75 or less.
  • Shop lights, tool belts and electrical-voltage and related testing equipment that cost $100 or less.
  • Handheld pipe cutters, drain opening tools and plumbing-inspection equipment that cost $150 or less.
  • Work boots that cost $175 or less.
  • Power tools and tool boxes for vehicles that cost $300 or less.

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