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First-of-its-kind ‘Freedom Week’ tax break surprises business owners and shoppers

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

Florida’s ‘Freedom Week’ sales tax break is a first-of-its-kind tax holiday.

Cape Coral resident, Sue Feldman, was out shopping Monday but had never heard of the tax-free holiday. She thought it was a great idea and felt it might inspire people to get out this holiday weekend.

“I think being outdoors is really healthy for all of us, physically as well as mentally,” Feldman said.

Getting outdoors this weekend could also be financially rewarding as shoppers can avoid paying taxes on fishing gear, grills and insect repellent.

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

Tickets to movie and live theaters are also tax free starting July 1.

“It definitely caught us off guard a little bit,” admitted Melissa Vogt of Broadway Palm. Her company was far from alone when it came to being informed about the tax-free holiday.

NBC-2 contacted nearly a dozen businesses and almost all were unaware of the tax breaks.

“This is obviously something the governor’s office put into place to get people out and about in Florida. Anything that is going to bring more awareness to culture to arts in community and state I’m all for,” Vogt stated.

The Department of Revenue said they posted a notice about the tax break on its webpage and even emailed businesses who subscribe to their publication.

Democrat Anna Eskamani, Orlando, suggested the state may want to better promote the event going forward.

“There needs to be more promotion of a first ever tax free holiday. If you want businesses and consumers to benefit, it has to be well promoted,” Eskamani stated.

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

The following items qualify for the tax break:

  • Event tickets to sporting, ballet, live music, and theater cultural events.
  • Festivals and fairs.
  • Entry to state parks and museums
  • Gym and fitness memberships.
  • Up to $5 on bait and tackle.
  • Up to $15 on sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Up to $25 on snorkels, goggles, and swimming masks.
  • Up to $30 on water bottles.
  • Up to $50 on bicycle helmets, sleeping bags, portable hammocks, camping stoves, flares, collapsible camping chairs.
  • Up to $75 on life jackets, paddles, oars, water skis, wakeboards, kneeboards, recreating inflatable water tubes, and coolers.
  • Up to $100 on sunglasses.
  • Up to $200 on binoculars, tents, basketballs, footballs, tennis, or any individual or team sports.
  • Up to $250 on bicycles and outdoor gas and charcoal grills.
  • Up to $300 on paddleboards and surfboards.
  • Up to $500 on canoes and kayaks.

The post First-of-its-kind ‘Freedom Week’ tax break surprises business owners and shoppers appeared first on NBC2 News.


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