Florida Tax Free Weekend 2015: Starts today, computers included

The longest tax-free holiday in Florida since 2007 starts today, 10 days with two weekends that will cost the state about $68 million.

Should you wipe away your tears over the state’s loss long enough to shop? Absolutely, if you need the items that are eligible — school supplies under $15, clothing under $100, and yes, personal computers, tablets and laptops.

The tax break applies to the first $750 of the price of the computers  and “computer-related accessories”  — that could mean up to $45 right there with a state sales tax of 6 percent.

A state document here gives all kinds of details about what’s eligible.

The time for students to return to school is around the corner, and Sawgrass Mills Mall is going big on the Florida Tax Free Holiday.

Friday marks the first day of the tax free holiday in Florida, and shoppers at the giant outlet mall can save money at more than 40 children’s stores. “Shirts, T-shirts, we’re headed to Nike now to go look at shoes,” said shopper, Jennifer Alexander.

The extended tax free holiday is attracting crowds to the mall and bringing relief to parents in light of back-to-school shopping. Their little ones are excited for the savings too. “New tennis shoes,” said Carson Alexander. “Yes!”

Sawgrass Mills is advertising good deals and plenty of places to shop, with over 40 stores that cater to children. “You’re going to find everything for back-to-school,” said Valentina Baragano, Assistant director of marketing and business development at Sawgrass Mills Mall. “You’re going to find your fashion brand outlets, you’re going to see the school supplies, plus the electronics. We’ve got Samsung, we’ve got BrandsMart USA.”

But on many students minds are the latest fashion trends for the upcoming year. “Burlington, we’re going to next,” said shopper Diane Howell. “They had some really cute tops for the girls. They’re third grade, fifth grade and going into eighth grade.”

Some of the stores are even adding promotions that will complement tax free holiday buys. “We’re gonna take advantage of that extra traffic,” said Teresa Thompson from Old Navy. “We’re offering all of our summer clearance, an additional 30 percent off this weekend.”

Clothing priced at $100 or less, $15 or less worth of school supplies, and the first $750 of computer and accessories apply. “You can save a ton here because it’s going to be outlet savings on top of the back-to-school promotions, which are second to black Friday,” Baragano said. “For top fashion backpacks, you can shop outlets Kipling, Vera Bradley also Old Navy Outlet and The Children’s Place Outlet are your top uniform destinations this year.”

The tax-free holiday is now 10 days long. “No taxes, can’t beat it,” said shopper Jennifer Alexander. “Gotta get the kids back to school, get them clothes.”

The tax exempt will go until Aug. 16.