TALLAHASSEE, Fla. In most years, Floridians get a three day back to school tax free holiday. Now Governor Rick Scott is pushing for an extra week. There is support for the push, but economists are concerned there are ulterior motives.
During Florida’s back to school tax-free holiday retailers see a 30 to 40 percent increase in shoppers over three days.
John Flemmintg is with the Florida Retails Federation. “They spend a lot of money marketing just because they know that people are going to be out shopping.”>
Governor Rick Scott is pushing to add seven more days to the tax-free holiday. Retailers say if the holiday is extended, jobs will be created. “Retailers, when they get ready for this, they staff up. They could add as much as 20 to 30 percent staff just for that weekend.”
Economists and retailers support the governor’s push for the extended tax-free holiday. Although one professor at Florida State University says it may be politically motivated.
“It’s interesting that he proposed a 10 day sales tax holiday this year when it has been shorter in the past”, says Randall Holcombe, Economics Professor at FSU.
Political or not, Holcombe says the extended tax-free holiday will benefit most. “It would be nice to see a permanent tax cut, but I think you will see a bit of a pickup in business, and of course consumes benefit.”
The Florida Retail Federation says brick and mortar stores are better able to compete with online stores when not collecting a sales tax. “Those who are selling on line tend to avoid Florida sales and use tax, whereas brick and mortar have to collect.”>
In a 2010 economic impact study – Florida retailers increase sales by 293-million dollars in the three day time span. The figure includes a 115-million increase in taxable sales.