THE FIRST DAY of school for public schools in Polk County is August 24. By the time this note hits the street, the pressures to have all the supplies taken care of will be felt around the region. The good news is, the Florida Senate passed a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday. From August 7-16, shoppers who still need to get items for their children and/or students will enjoy tax-free purchases on the followings items: clothing, footwear, wallets, and bags that cost $100 or less; school supplies that cost $15 or less; and the first $750 of the cost for personal computers and related high-ticket items.
So let’s do the math. If you have to spend approximately $250 on back-to-school items (that includes clothes, shoes, accessories, and all items on your school’s supply list), then that means you would save $17.50 in sales tax dollars during this week. If you, however, have more than one child in school, of course your back-to-school expenses can go up exponentially, and then sales tax relief can be felt even more so.
Playing devil’s advocate for a moment, if you’re of the personality that gets very stressed out by large crowds who are all after the same or very similar things that you need, it might be best to spend the extra seven percent sales tax and go before tax break week begins. One other way to keep your sanity during this busy time and enjoy your back-to-school shopping experience, is to go at a time when you know it might be less busy. Making a list in advance, and checking the sale papers before you arrive will also cut down on your stress and time, making for a smoother shopping experience. Stores are typically less packed when they first open, and if you do a little bit of shopping each morning for four or five days, instead of doing it all in one shot on the weekend, you’ll find yourself less stressed, and still taking advantage of the discount that the sales tax break will provide.
Good luck on all your back-to-school preparations, and remember to connect with Central Florida Health News magazine on Facebook for regular health tips and updates you can use throughout the school year!
column by CELESTE JO WALLS
Celeste Jo Walls is managing editor of Central Florida Health News. She may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.