First “Freedom Week” tax break surprises business owners and buyers

CAPE CORAL, Florida – What do a grill, a fishing rod, and a theater ticket have in common? They’re among dozens of items you won’t have to pay sales tax on this week.

Florida’s “Freedom Week” tax break is a one-of-a-kind tax holiday.

Cape Coral resident Sue Feldman had been out shopping on Monday but had never heard of the duty free vacation. She thought it was a great idea and felt it might inspire people to go out this holiday weekend.

“I think being on the outside is really healthy for all of us, physically and mentally,” Feldman said.

Going outside this weekend could also pay off, as buyers can avoid paying taxes on fishing gear, grills, and insect repellants.

“A lot of people are still trying to recover from the pandemic. So any small amount of money we can save certainly helps. Kids need to go out and have fun like us adults, ”said Anna Green.

Tickets for movies and live theaters are also tax free from July 1.

“It definitely caught us a bit off guard,” admitted Broadway Palm’s Melissa Vogt. His company was far from the only one when it came to being informed about the tax exemption.

NBC-2 contacted nearly a dozen companies and almost all of them were not aware of the tax breaks.

“This is obviously something that the governor’s office has put in place to get people out to Florida. Anything that will increase cultural awareness of the arts in the community and state, I’m all for, ”said Vogt.

The Revenue Ministry said it has posted a notice about the tax break on its webpage and even emailed businesses that subscribe to their post.

Democrat Anna Eskamani, of Orlando, suggested the state may want to better promote the event in the future.

“There needs to be more promotion of a very first tax-free leave. If you want businesses and consumers to benefit from it, it has to be well promoted, ”Eskamani said.

Broadway Palm has said it will be prepared to offer a 6.5% tax break on all tickets purchased July 1-7.

The following are eligible for tax relief:

  • Tickets to sports, ballet, live music and theater events.
  • Parties and fairs.
  • Entrance to state parks and museums
  • Gym and fitness subscriptions.
  • Up to $ 5 on bait and tackle.
  • Up to $ 15 in sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Up to $ 25 on snorkels, goggles and swim masks.
  • Up to $ 30 on bottled water.
  • Up to $ 50 on bike helmets, sleeping bags, portable hammocks, camping stoves, flares, folding camping chairs.
  • Up to $ 75 on life jackets, paddles, oars, water skis, wakeboards, knee pads, inflatable buoys and coolers.
  • Up to $ 100 on sunglasses.
  • Up to $ 200 on binoculars, tents, basketballs, soccer balls, tennis or any other individual or team sport.
  • Up to $ 250 on bikes and outdoor gas and charcoal grills.
  • Up to $ 300 on paddle boards and surfboards.
  • Up to $ 500 on canoes and kayaks.

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