Governor pushing for back-to-school tax break

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

LAKE PARK, FL (WFLX) - Gynaeya Cooper, shopping at the Target on Northlake Boulevard, knows all too well how much school supplies for her daughter, Peighton, can cost.

Every year the Tequesta resident says she spends anywhere between $200 to $300 on everything from pens and paper to cool backpacks.

With word that Governor Charlie Crist is pushing for a back-to-school sales tax holiday this year, Cooper hopes she can finally catch a break at the cash register. "School supplies can be actually expensive. Any tax break is would be awesome."

Florida lawmakers last approved a sales tax reprieve in 2007 when they signed off on a 10-day break in early August of that year from both state and local sales taxes.

The tax break applies to more than just school supplies. It also can be used for clothing and even computers, as long as they are purchased for school use only.

For Cynthia Morales of Lake Park, a mom of three, getting a break on anything would be a God send for how much she spends.

"I would say anything between $400 to $500 between clothes, school supplies, backpacks and all that. It would be a positive thing for everybody," she said.

Florida Retail Federation President Rick McAllister estimated that a $44 million tax break for an 11-day sales tax reprieve would increase tax revenues by $118 million.

If approved, it will happen in time for the next school year.