Governor Takes Part in Florida's Sales Tax Holiday

The governor hit a department store himself Monday morning to stock up on supplies for a child he mentors.

Jeb Bush joined the morning shopping crowd at Target to buy some back-to-school supplies for the eighth grader he mentors.

The media event took on a carnival air with the unexpected appearance of a woman dressed as a clown who then followed the pack through the store. The governor was promoting Florida’s back-to-school shopping sales tax holiday, where many clothes, books and school supplies are tax-free. Clown in tow, he headed for the registers where his bill quickly added up.

It turned out his tax savings was only about $2.20 because some of the supplies he picked out were not on the tax-free list. But he says it’s still worth it, even if you don’t have a child and just want to pick up a few supplies to donate.

Gov. Jeb Bush said, "You want to make sure that all kids start school equipped to learn and don’t lag behind for any reason. All kids deserve that."

And families love the sales tax break, even if it’s only about a $7 savings on every hundred you spend. It’s seven dollars you could spend on something else.

Mom Kelley Strickland says a couple of bucks can be a big deal if you’re on a tight budget.

Kelley said, "It makes a difference, and it makes a difference in a lot of families."

The sales tax holiday runs through midnight Sunday. You can get a list of sales-tax free items by calling the Florida Department of Revenue toll-free at 1-800-352-3671.

The holiday will cost the state and local governments about $40 million. In Georgia, tax-free shopping starts August 3 and ends on the 6th.