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Lawmakers approved back-to-school tax holiday. What can you buy?

But it doesn’t start until the first weekend in August.
[Tampa Bay Times file]
Published May 7

If you’re shopping for back-to-school supplies this year, mark your calendar for the first weekend of August.

That’s about when a tax “holiday” approved by state lawmakers will apply to clothes, backpacks and various school supplies, meaning such items will be exempt from sales taxes when purchased.

The tax-exempt period runs from Aug. 2 to midnight Aug. 6 and is part of a $121 million package that legislators approved in May. Here’s what’s included in the exemption:

▪ Clothing, shoes, wallets, or bags, including handbags and backpacks (but not briefcases or suitcases) that are $60 or less

▪ School supplies sold for $15 or less, including pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, notebooks, paper, tape, scissors and calculators

▪ Personal computers or personal computer-related accessories sold for $1,000 or less, including electronic book readers, laptops, desktops, handhelds, tablets, or tower computers (but excluding cellphones)

Lawmakers also approved a weeklong hurricane sales tax “holiday” from late May to early June. That sales tax exemption includes batteries, generators and other disaster preparedness supplies.

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