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Families say tax-free holidays help combat rising prices for school supplies

Families say tax-free holidays help combat rising prices for school supplies
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FORT MYERS, Fla.  — Tonight marks the return of Florida’s back-to-school tax-free holiday.

Until Aug. 7 families looking to gear their kids up for the upcoming school year, can do so without that tax from the state.

Parents in Cape Coral, like Theresa Wheeler, said it’s now a money-saving game plan to wait for tax-free holidays like this one.

“Better to be shopping this week, than last week or the week after,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler, a mother of three said she’s sending all of her kids to school this fall.

“It’s incredibly expensive. They have really specific brands you need to buy, you can’t just go and buy the cheapest one, it’s very specific. With one kid it’s manageable, but when you have three of them, it gets really expensive really fast,” said Wheeler.

During the holiday period, qualifying items will be exempt from tax including:

  • Clothing, footwear, and certain accessories with a sales price of $100 or less per item*
  • Certain school supplies with a sales price of $50 or less per item,
  • Learning aids and jigsaw puzzles with a sales price of $30 or less*
  • Personal computers and certain computer-related accessories with a sales price of $1,500 or less, when purchased for noncommercial home or personal use

The addition of learning aids to the tax-exempt list is new this year.

They include items like puzzles, flashcards, matching games, and toys that teach reading or math skills.

A bit of relief for what the average family can expect to pay, according to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida’s CEO, Julie Boudreaux.

“It’s about $600 per family on average, it’s a lot,” said Boudreaux.

In fact, it’s around an 8% increase compared to what families spent last year according to a report by Deloitte.

An added stress that Boudreaux said her staff is seeing when working with struggling families in Southwest Florida.

“You add the gas, and rent and the increase in bills it is causing stress on families and coming up with school, that’s added stress for them,” said Boudreaux.

Boudreaux said the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida provided school supplies to over 200 children during one of its supply drives last month.

She added that tax breaks from the state, help more families feel prepared for the start of the school year.

“I’m so glad to see us as a community we are really coming together to help families in any way we can, especially as school approaches,” said Boudreaux.

Written By

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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