TALLAHASSEE | One of the sales-tax holidays backed by Gov. Rick Scott received Senate committee support Monday, but minor turbulence could be ahead as the measure travels through the Legislature.
While Scott has recommended a 15-day period in June for a list of hurricane-related items to be sales-tax free, the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee approved a version of the proposal (SB 362) that stands at 12 days.
Senate bill sponsor Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, called the differences between his measure and Scott’s recommendation “minor details that need to be worked out.”
“The devil’s in the details about how many days it’s ultimately going to be,” Bradley said. “There is some discussion about what items are going to be included or not included.”
On Friday, Senate Finance and Tax Chairwoman Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, filed an amendment to expand the measure to 15-days as Scott proposed. But before the committee meeting on Monday afternoon, she withdrew the proposal as the Senate continues to review the additional time sought by Scott.
“We look forward to working with the governor’s office to get the final Senate position on the bill,” Bradley said.
Bradley has proposed that during the period the sales tax would be lifted on flashlights and other self-powered lights selling for $20 or less; portable self-powered radios, two-way radios, or weather band radios that sell for $50 or less; tarps or other flexible waterproof sheeting that sells for less than $50; first-aid kits that cost under $30; packets of AA, C, D, 6-volt, and 9-volt batteries that sell for under $30; and portable generators worth less than $750.
The governor’s office has promoted the 15-day hurricane sales tax holiday as a $20 million savings for consumers.
The House version of the bill (HB 567) by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, has yet to be scheduled for a committee appearance.
Scott also has also called for legislators to extend the back-to-school sales-tax holiday from three days, as it has been in recent years, to 10-days.