TALLAHASSEE, Florida. – With a sales tax “holiday” beginning this weekend, Floridians can save a few dollars on pet supplies while stocking up on other necessities for the upcoming hurricane season.
The state’s two-week disaster preparedness tax holiday will begin on Saturday and, for the first time, shoppers will be able to avoid paying sales tax on many types of pet supplies. The holiday was part of a sweeping tax package (HB 7071) that lawmakers passed in March and Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law on May 6.
At the request of a 60601 scout troop in Palm Harbor, lawmakers agreed to waive holiday sales taxes on pet carriers that cost $100 or less; pet beds that cost $40 or less; bags of pet food that cost $30 or less; cat litter bags costing $25 or less; leashes, collars and muzzles that sell for $20 or less; packs of disposable pet waste bags that cost $15 or less; and cans of pet food that cost $2 or less.
The troupe offered to include pet supplies as part of what’s called a “Silver Award.”
“By adding these items to the tax exemption, we will help citizens be prepared in the event of an emergency,” a cast member told the House Ways & Means Committee in February. They will be able to take their pets to a local shelter and have the required supplies for their pets to stay there.
The blanket tax holiday, which will last until June 10, is focused on the start of hurricane season on June 1. It became a regular tax break for Floridians, similar to a back-to-school tax holiday held around the start of the school year.
Pet supplies aren’t the only new items included in this year’s disaster preparedness holiday. Lawmakers have added smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors that cost $70 or less amid calls for residents to use generators safely. Plus, people can avoid paying sales tax on generators that cost $1,000 or less.
“We’ve now had more deaths over the past few years from carbon monoxide poisoning from generators than from the storm surge itself,” said Kevin Guthrie, director of the disaster management division. Florida ER.
Guthrie added that the state has had “more indirect deaths with disasters over the past few seasons than we have with direct deaths.”
“It’s obviously something that we want to make sure that we tell people to be safe, the operation of the generator and how to make sure that people are setting up their generators correctly, which is not outside from a window, not inside their locked garage,” he said.
Florida Retail Federation President Scott Shalley encouraged people to take advantage of the discount period as inflation is at its highest level in four decades and experts predict an active hurricane season.
“At a time when people are feeling the inflation crunch, this is a really good opportunity to get out and prepare for hurricane season and save a little money doing it,” Shalley said. .
Other items discounted this year include tarps, rain sheets and tie-down kits that sell for $100 or less; portable coolers and power banks that sell for $60 or less; portable lamps that cost $40 or less; reusable ice packs that cost $20 or less; and gas tanks, portable radios, two-way radios, weather radios, and AA, AAA, C, D, 6-volt, or 9-volt battery packs that cost $50 or less.