Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Thursday a $180 million tax cut bill (HB 7109) that eliminates taxes on tampons and other feminine hygiene products.
It also provides for a couple of three-day sales tax holidays this summer–one on disaster preparedness supplies, the other on back-to-school supplies.
“Since I’ve been in office, I’ve fought to cut taxes and reduce burdensome regulations to help boost Florida’s economy and ensure our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to succeed in our great state,” Scott said at the bill signing. “Every time we cut taxes, we are encouraging businesses of all sizes to create opportunities for families across the state and more money is put back in taxpayers’ pockets.”
The tax cuts will make feminine hygiene products, such as tampons and menstrual pads, tax exempt effective at the beginning of next year. Supporters of the exemption argued such items are a necessity for women and, under state law, should be deemed a “common household remedy.”
The first of the sales tax holidays runs from June 2-4 and is expected to save Floridians $4.5 million on disaster preparedness supplies. It covers flashlights, batteries, generators and other items that Floridians usually stock up on in preparation for the hurricane season.
The back-to-school sales tax holiday runs from August 4-6 and is forecast to save residents $33.4 million on clothing and other back-to-school supplies.
“I am pleased to see this comprehensive tax relief package become law,” said Senate President Joe Negron. “Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature have worked together for the last several years to reduce the tax burden facing Florida families and businesses in a broad-based and meaningful way. This good bill furthers that commitment.”
The tax cut package also includes a $61 million tax reduction on business rents.
Florida is the only state that has a tax on commercial leases, which critics say unfairly targets small businesses.
The tax cut will provide a minimal 0.2 percent reduction in the tax on commercial leases for next year.
The measure also provides some tax cuts for low-income Floridians and seniors.
It provides $25.8 million in relief by providing a 50 percent cut in property taxes to certain multifamily, low-income housing projects.
The measure also expands the property tax exemption for Assisted Living Facilities, providing another $6.9 million in tax relief.