A shorter sales tax holiday in '08?
Money is so scarce in Tallahassee that lawmakers are balking at renewing a popular 10-day back to school sales tax holiday on purchases of backpacks, books and other items in early August. In a year when many lawmakers have talked about the need to provide more tax relief, the tax holiday bill (SB 2094, sponsored by Sen. Dan Webster) is gathering dust in the Senate. "We're looking at something limited," the Senate's chief budget-writer, Republican Lisa Carlton, said Tuesday.
Perhaps lawmakers want to let the tax holiday languish for the moment so it can be available as an end-of-session bargaining chip. A more likely scenario: Lawmakers want to preserve maximum flexibility on spending as they develop a budget compromise, and may still approve the sales tax holiday ($41-million for a 10-day period, according to a House analysis) as the session winds to a close.
A second consumer-related tax break bill is also not moving in the Senate. It would mark the first week of hurricane season (June 1-7) with a tax-free week on storm-related items such as flashlights, portable radios, batteries and generators.