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House passes shortened sales tax holiday

The House unanimously has passed a shortened back-to-school sales tax holiday on most clothing and school supplies. For clothes priced less than $50 and for school supplies less than $10, people wouldn't have to pay state and local sales tax for the weekend of Aug. 13-15.

The last sales tax holiday was in 2007, but went away in tough budget times. Most of the other holidays were longer, from 7-10 days. For a few years, clothes up to $100 were exempt. This year's bill would be a $21.3 million hit to state revenue, with local governments losing $4.8 million.

"This is the time right now for tax relief for the people of Florida," said Miami Rep. David Rivera, the bill's sponsor.

A similar bill was being heard simultaneously in a Senate committee. Sponsoring Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, predicted the bill would receive favorable support.