- Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed $1.1 billion in tax cuts for Floridians.
- DeSantis will face Democrat Charlie Crist in November.
- The governor promised he would propose more cuts in the coming weeks.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed an additional $1.1 billion in tax cuts just weeks before his November re-election bid.
DeSantis is asking the Florida legislature to permanently eliminate the state’s 6 percent sales tax on essential baby items, including cribs, strollers, clothing, shoes, baby wipes and diapers. He also wants the state to eliminate sales taxes on medical equipment and pet medicines.
DeSantis called his proposal an anti-inflation measure aimed at alleviating problems such as high grocery prices, but it was unclear whether it would have the desired effect. He promised to announce more tax cuts in the coming weeks.
“I’m worried about some turmoil that’s yet to come,” DeSantis said at a news conference in Bradenton, Fla., referring to lingering inflation and investor fears of looming economic turmoil.
But tax breaks won’t necessarily ease inflation. some analysts, like Howard Glickman At the Tax Policy Center, he warned that tax breaks could actually fuel inflation as people spend and consume more when supply is limited.
Still, some of DeSantis’ proposed tax cuts apply to items households deem essential and that they may buy with or without the tax cut.
Some of DeSantis’ proposals on Tuesday will be temporary. These include eliminating a one-year sales tax on children’s books, sports equipment and toys, and a proposed moratorium on pet food and household items priced at $25 or less. The latter will include items such as laundry detergent, paper towels and toilet paper.
Back-to-school programs will have a two-week temporary tax holiday until the fall and spring semesters.
The proposals add up to $1.1 billion in tax cuts, DeSantis said. In early September, DeSantis had proposed halving tolls for all Florida commuters.
Speaking at a campaign event in Palm Beach, Fla., late Tuesday, DeSantis said the tax cuts would total $2 billion once he announced more proposals.
DeSantis to be re-elected in November
Unless DeSantis wins re-election in Florida for the first time on Nov. 8, he won’t be able to implement his tax plan. He will face off with congressman from St. Petersburg, former Florida Republican governor and Democrat Charlie Crist.
Crist has yet to unveil a tax cut plan, but proposes one A range of affordability measures Reduce housing costs, including homeowners insurance, and utility costs such as electricity bills.
Crist is at a disadvantage in the race because more Republicans are registered in the state than Democrats. In addition, DeSantis is considered a top contender for the White House in 2024, especially if former President Donald Trump is not running.
In the past few days, DeSantis has made national headlines for a political stunt in which he directed state funds to resettle immigrants from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
DeSantis won’t be the only decision maker on the tax package. But the Legislature, where the governor largely respects his priorities, has proven to have significant ramifications.
Florida is one of nine states with no state income tax, and tax cuts are often a staple of the Republican platform. The state has leeway on spending, as it finished its most recent fiscal year in June with a surplus of $22 billion.
But in general, states across the country are cash rich The COVID stimulus package from President Joe Biden, known as the U.S. Rescue Package, and their revenue during the pandemic has far exceeded expectations.
The Republican-controlled legislature and DeSantis used the $200 million Biden COVID stimulus package to fund Florida’s 25-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax holiday starting in October.
DeSantis’ tax plan on Tuesday did not explain whether the tax cuts were funded from the coronavirus stimulus package or from state reserves. His office did not immediately respond to Insider’s inquiries on the matter. The matter could be left to the legislature to decide.
DeSantis first previewed the proposed tax cuts at a news conference in late August.