State ‘sales tax holiday’ opens Friday
Friday marks the start of Florida’s 2010 Sales Tax Holiday, which offers back-to-school shoppers a chance to stock up on clothes and supplies without paying sales tax.
Stores all around the city will be taking advantage of the opportunity to lure shoppers by extending operating hours and beefing up staff levels to handle the increased traffic.
“It’s going to be busy,” said Hope Corona, an executive team leader at the Target store on Santa Barbara. “We don’t know what we’re expecting, exactly, but we’ll have extra staff and managers to help with the whole process. We want to make sure it’s a smooth weekend.”
The tax free holiday runs from Friday morning through Sunday evening.
Books, clothes and shoes that cost under $50, and school supplies under $10, qualify for the tax exemption.
The tax free holiday has been around since the late ’90s, and been offered on and off for the last 12 years.
The last time the holiday was offered was 2007, when it stretched for a 10-day period.
This year it’s only three days, though the Florida Department of Revenue was unable to answer why the holiday was so greatly shortened.
A full list of tax exempt items are available on the Department of Revenue website at myflorida.com/dor .
Both vendors and shoppers are encouraged to visit the website to look at the list, which also includes taxable items.
J.C. Penny in Coralwood is offering extended store hours in anticipation of the sales tax holiday.
Friday, Aug. 13, they will be open 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Store Manager Ruben Irizarry said that despite the shortened sales tax holiday, he is still anticipating a large number of shoppers to take advantage of the event.
For shoppers looking to avoid big crowds, Irizarry suggest being there when the store opens on Friday, or late Saturday. He’s expecting a lot of traffic on Friday night, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Irizarry also said there will be plenty of merchandise in stock, including popular items like “skinny jeans” for both boys and girls, and a “Hoody Buddy”, which features built in ear buds in the sweater’s hood.
For those who miss the early rushes, Irizarry predicts lots of merchandise still will be available.
“We’ll have every size available,” he said. “We’ll have stack-out tables throughout the store, and we plan on stacking our piles (of merchandise) higher.”
Officials at Kohl’s Department Store on Pine Island Road and Walmart on Del Prado Boulevard declined to comment due to corporate policies.