Gov. Scott to sign hurricane sales-tax holiday bill today

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With Florida’s hurricane season beginning on June 1, Gov. Rick Scott heads to Orlando on Monday to lead the Governor’s Hurricane Conference on storm preparedness.

Highlight of the event will be the signing of HB 5601, a bill establishing a series of sales tax holidays, including the much-heralded break on purchases of hurricane supplies. HB 5601 completes Scott’s election year promise of $500 million in tax and fee cuts, as the new law provides an additional $105 million in tax relief.

The bill signing ceremony begins 10 a.m. at the West Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center, Room W-303 C, at 9800 International Drive in Orlando.

During the holiday, to be held from Saturday May 31 to Sunday, June 8, a list of items are exempt from both state sales tax and county discretionary sales surtaxes:

  • Portable generator priced $750 or less
  • Reusable ice priced $10 or less.
  • Portable self-powered light sources priced $20 or less
  • Portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio selling for $50 or less
  • Tarps or other flexible waterproof sheeting selling for $50 or less
  • Self-contained first-aid kits priced under $30
  • Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits selling for $50 or less, gas or diesel fuel tanks selling for $25 or less
  • Packages of AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, not including automobile and boat batteries, selling for $30 or less
  • Non-electric food storage coolers priced $30 or less

HB 5601 also marks the return of the popular back to school sales tax holiday weekend — three days this year beginning Friday, August 1 through Sunday, August 3.  During that time, items exempt from state sales tax and discretionary county sales surtaxes are clothing, footwear, wallets, and bags priced $100 or less and school supplies less than $15 or less per item.

Also exempt from sales tax will be the first $750 of the sales price for personal computers and related accessories for home or personal use, such as tablets, laptops, monitors, input devices, and non-recreational software.

Another tax holiday making its first appearance in Florida is a three-day weekend for the purchase of energy efficient products beginning on Friday, September 19 and ending on Sunday, September 21. Exempt from taxes will be the first $1,500 of the sales price of new Energy Star or WaterSense products.


Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.