TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – A tax package built around three sales-tax “holidays” and a bill that would crack down on people who make false claims about COVID-19 vaccines and personal protective equipment were formally sent Thursday to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The bill (HB 9) to prevent COVID-19 scams, a priority of House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, stems from people using authentic-looking websites that falsely offer access to vaccines or personal protective equipment.READ MORE: Postal Worker Shot At In Florida City; Suspect In Custody
The measure would lead to felony charges for people who run such scams and would authorize the attorney general to seek injunctions to shut down websites or other platforms used to spread fraudulent information.
Meanwhile, the $196.3 million tax package (HB 7061) has 22 separate parts, including sales-tax “holidays” for back-to-school shopping, hurricane-season preparations and encouraging people to get out for entertainment and recreation.
The package would also set aside $17.5 million for taxpayers that clean up contaminated brownfields, change a formula for distributing cigarette tax revenues to boost funding for the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and repeal an unused pool of state money that was approved in 2014 to help build and renovate professional sports stadiums.
Much of the attention on the bill focused on the sales-tax holidays. A 10-day tax holiday starting May 28, just before the June 1 beginning of hurricane season, would allow shoppers to avoid paying sales taxes on items ranging from tarpaulins and batteries to portable generators costing up to $1,000.READ MORE: Double Shooting Investigated In NW Miami
A “Freedom Week” holiday would start July 1 and provide a sales-tax exemption on tickets purchased for such things as live music, athletic contests, in-theater movies, cultural events, museums, state parks and fitness facilities.
It also would provide a sales-tax exemption for certain outdoor equipment such as tents, grills, bicycles, kayaks and fishing gear.
Tickets could be purchased during the week for events that occur later in the year, including annual passes.
In addition, a 10-day holiday would be held in August, before the school year, allowing shoppers to avoid paying sales taxes on clothes costing $60 or less, school supplies costing $15 or less and the first $1,000 of the price of personal computers.
DeSantis has until May 28 to act on the measures.MORE NEWS: Here's How Royal Caribbean Will Deal With Vaccinated, Unvaccinated Passengers
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