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Proposed budget provides break on gas

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Florida drivers could get a break on the price of gas thanks to a statewide Gas Tax Holiday established in the state’s budget and passed by legislators on March 14. The fuel tax break represents part of the $658 million in broad-based tax savings aimed to help Florida families weather rising costs due to inflation.
“Florida cannot independently fix or outrun all of the problems leading to the cost increases that are wreaking havoc on families, especially our most vulnerable,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby). “However, we are working to ease the pain with broad-based sales tax relief and a month-long gas tax holiday.”

According to AAA, as of April 3, the average price of a gallon of regular gas in Florida was $4.1174. Closer to home, drivers in Brooksville and Spring Hill can expect to pay between $4.02 and $4.17 per gallon of regular gas based on GasBuddy’s survey of 10 area gas stations. Gasbuddy is a website that compares gas prices nationwide.

The legislation creates a month-long fuel tax holiday from Oct. 1 through 31, 2022 that will reduce the tax on motor fuel by $0.25 per gallon.

In addition to the gas tax holiday, the 2022 Florida state budget establishes the 2022 Skilled Worker Tools Sales Tax Holiday which creates a seven-day sales tax holiday from Sept. 3 through 9, 2022, for certain tools used by skilled trade workers including certain hand and power tools, work boots, safety equipment, shop lights, toolboxes and belts, plumbing and electrical equipment, and industry textbooks and codebooks.

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Other short-term tax holidays include the 2022 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday from July 25 through Aug. 7, 2022 for clothing, footwear, and backpacks costing $100 or less, school supplies and learning aids costing $50 or less, and personal computers or computer-related accessories, including non-recreational software costing $1,500 or less.

Longer-term sales tax holidays include a one-year children’s clothing and shoe tax exemption on the retail sale of baby and toddler clothing and shoes including clothing for children ages five and younger beginning on July 1, 2022, and ending on June 30, 2023; a one-year sales tax exemption on children’s diapers including single-use, reusable diapers and reusable diaper inserts beginning July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023, and a three-month sales tax exemption on the retail of children’s books from May 14 to Aug. 14, 2022.

A longer-term sales tax exemption also includes a one-year sales tax holiday from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, on the retail sale of certain ENERGY STAR appliances including refrigerator/freezer units selling for $3,000 or less, and water heaters, washers or dryers selling for $1,500 or less.

Finally, the budget includes a permanent sales exemption on fencing materials that are used to replace, repair or build fences on agricultural land. All trailers used for agricultural and farm work are also exempt from sales tax.

Florida’s 2022 $112 billion budget was unanimously passed by the Florida Senate on March 14. It was approved by the state’s House of Representatives by a 105-3 vote.

Florida’s 2022-2023 budget awaits Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature.

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