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Shoppers And Stores Gear Up For Florida's Tax- Free Weekend

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Florida's back to school tax holiday begins Friday

Florida's annual tax-free shopping holiday kicks off Friday-- but bargain hunters will have less time to spend their money.

Floridians have three days -- Friday through Sunday --to shop for clothing and school-supply items that will be exempt from state and local sales taxes. Last year, the holiday was 10 days long.

State legislators also eliminated computers from this year's eligible list of back to school tax breaks.

But James Miller- a spokesperson for the Florida Retail Association- said the holiday will make a difference for families.

"Saving five, ten, thirty bucks on items that they have to buy for their children each year is very important,” he said. "It is something we feel is very valuable to Florida families."

Alexis Muellner is editor of the Tampa Bay Business Journal.  He said the annual event is a driving force for retail.

"And in many ways it's tradition for a lot of families to have back to school shopping experiences,” he said. “Tampa Premium Outlets for example is doing a sidewalk sale this year. It’s a way for retailers to gain back some revenue at a time of year when it’s really been pretty slow."

The state has held tax holidays most years since 1998.

The Florida Retail Federation projects a typical family will spend $673 this year on back-to-school shopping.

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