TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida lawmakers are closer to expanding some of the most popular sales tax holidays, some could happen twice a year. The House unanimously passed HB 7063, a 73-page tax bill, on Thursday.

The average family with school-aged children spends more than $800 on back-to-school gear each year, according to the National Retail Federation. Parents say they rely on Florida’s sales tax holiday to help.

“It’s the only time that we get a little breather in the money department,” parent Christeeanna Goulbourne said.

The tax package passed in the House is $1.38 billion, if enacted, would expand certain tax exemption periods. The proposed legislation includes:

  • 14 days in May and June for disaster preparedness items
  • Tax exemption on outdoor and recreation gear from Memorial Day to Labor Day
  • Tax break on tools and equipment in September
  • Two back-to-school sales tax holidays, one at the start of each semester

“We went shopping and spent like over $500 in school supplies, clothes and everything. I was kind of glad because when I added it up, I’m like, if we had to pay tax that would have been a whole lot more,” Goulbourne said.

A similar bill is moving through the Senate. However, several differences must be ironed out in before the measure could become law. Some lawmakers hope to have the details squared away before approval of the 2023-24 budget.