Florida Politics: “Annette Taddeo introduces bill for tax-free Small Business Saturday”

Sen. Annette Taddeo has filed a bill that could give shoppers a tax break on Small Business Saturday and offer a boost to local shops.

The bill, entitled Small Business Saturday Sales Tax Holiday (SB 302), would exempt small businesses from collecting sales tax on Nov. 27, 2021 — next year’s Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is a nation-wide shopping holiday on the Saturday following Black Friday during the week of Thanksgiving. The goal of the holiday is to encourage consumers to shop local to support small businesses — a holiday that took on a more meaningful tone amidst the pandemic.

COVID-19 impacts are devastating small businesses, according to Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Jerry Parrish. Leisure, hospitality and other industries dependent on visitors are being hit the worst.

A recent poll of more than 9,000 small business owners found that half of owners say they’re really struggling, and 48% appear to be juggling finances in a way that suggests they might not survive much longer.

This bill could be a form of relief for small businesses next year by encouraging shoppers to spend. However, many Floridians are grappling with unemployment themselves.

There were about 59,000 new pandemic-related jobless claims in Florida in the past week, according to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity data released this week.

In total there have been 4.9 million unemployment claims in the state due to coronavirus since the outbreak began in March.

The cost of the pandemic-related unemployment assistance is continuing to rack up in federal and state funds. In Florida, the total price tag now stands at $19.303 billion.

To be eligible for the tax exemption detailed in the bill, the business must have owed and remitted less than $200,000 in total tax. The tax exemption applies to items priced less than $1,000.

The bill will also appropriate $200,000 to the Department of Revenue in order to implement the act and authorize the Department of Revenue to adopt the emergency rule.

View the original article here.