By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
May 15, 2019
Damage from Hurricane Michael, Photo Date: 10/11/18 / Photo: Diane Gallagher / (MGN)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- More than $121 million in tax breaks were signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis Wednesday. The first savings Floridians will see is the seven-day hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday at the end of May.
For the past three years, Florida has been hit by a major hurricane.
Ace Hardware Manager David McCellen witnessed firsthand after Hurricane Michael that many people failed to prepare ahead of time. The result was a mad dash for supplies.
“We were working 10, 12, 14 hours a day,” said McCellen. "From the time we opened the door in the morning until late at night, we had customers in the store. We had no power and we were going working off of generators ourselves trying to get these things out for the customers.”
This year, there may not be a need for the post-storm rush. Under the 2019 tax package, Floridians get a full week, from May 31 through June 6, to get their households hurricane ready and save some money while doing it.
Some items covered by the hurricane tax free holiday are coolers, gas cans, flashlights, batteries and tarps. Generators under $750 are also on the list.
McCellen said he’s noticed the holiday rising in popularity.
“You see people do that. Then they'll go ahead and purchase something to be ready because people are learning the last two or three years here, you've got to be prepared, because these storms have hit and they've hit hard,” said McCellen.
Carolun Johnson with the Florida Chamber of Commerce said tax free holidays don’t only benefit customers.
“These sales tax holidays are very popular and it encourages homeowners and families and business to get out and support their local retailers,” said Johnson.
This year, there is also a five-day back to school sales tax holiday. It runs from August 2 to August 6.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce estimates between the two sales tax holidays, Floridians will save about $46 million.