Back-to-school tax-free holiday kicks off in Florida

Computers added back to list of eligible items

ORLANDO, Fla. – Back-to-school shopping is in full gear as Central Florida students return to class on Aug. 10 or Aug. 14.

Starting Friday (Aug. 4), Florida's sales-tax-free shopping weekend started. The three-day event ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

Back-to-school spending is expected to reach $83.6 billion this year nationwide, up 10 percent from last year. Florida shoppers are estimated to save $33.4 million this year.

Items on the list include pencils, markers, crayons, paper and backpacks. Clothes, footwear and certain accessories for $60 or less are eligible, too. Computers up to $750 are also back on the list of eligible items.

The tax holiday also applies to a number of items for adults, including purses, suits and ties. Diapers, diaper bags and baby clothes are also tax-free during the holiday.

A House bill analysis estimated the holiday period will reduce state revenue by $26.6 million and local government revenue by $6.8 million.

The state has offered back-to-school tax holidays most years since 1998. 

Florida, one of 16 states this year offering back-to-school breaks, also offered a tax holiday on disaster-preparation items in June to mark the start of hurricane season.