Gov. Ron DeSantis just promised 'by far the biggest tax cuts in the history of the state of Florida'

·3 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters at a campaign stop on the Keep Florida Free Tour at the Horsepower Ranch in Geneva. DeSantis faces former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for the general election for Florida Governor in November.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters at a campaign stop on the Keep Florida Free Tour at the Horsepower Ranch in Geneva. DeSantis faces former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for the general election for Florida Governor in November.Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis promised that major tax cuts were coming to the Sunshine State.

  • The Republican governor appears poised to announce details of the plan within weeks.

  • Florida recently instituted $1.3 billion-worth of sales tax holidays.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed Tuesday that Florida is about to see the biggest tax cuts in the history of the state.

"We are going to roll out our tax package for next year, probably in the next couple of weeks, and that is going to be by far the biggest tax cuts in the history of the state of Florida, so stay tuned for that," DeSantis said at a press event in Live Oak, Florida, focused on infrastructure.

DeSantis didn't yet provide details about which tax cuts were ahead. Florida is one of nine states that doesn't have a state income tax, and it has a 6% sales tax, with some exceptions.

Governors typically roll out tax and spending plans just before the legislative session, which starts in Tallahassee in March 2023. But DeSantis' remarks indicated his proposal would come far sooner.

The reason to announce the promised tax breaks early may be political. DeSantis is up for reelection on November 8, when he'll face off against Democrat Charlie Crist, a congressman from St. Petersburg who was previously a Republican governor of Florida.

DeSantis is expected to easily win re-election because registered Republicans in the state outnumber Democrats. The governor is also considered to be a top contender for the White House in 2024, particularly if former President Donald Trump doesn't run.

Tax cuts tend to feature heavily in Republican agendas, and DeSantis has previously said he hoped November's election would hand him a Republican supermajority in the Florida legislature.

DeSantis isn't the only decision maker on the tax package, but has significant influence with a legislature that has proved largely deferential to his priorities.

In May, DeSantis signed a tax holiday bill into law that included $1.2 billion in tax breaks on a slew of items from diapers to mobile homes. The governor also unveiled a commuter discounts last week for drivers who regularly use tolls.

Florida has wiggle room on spending because it finished the most recent fiscal year, in June, with a $22 billion surplus. But in general, states all over the country have been awash with cash from President Joe Biden's COVID stimulus, called American Resue Plan, and after they took in far more revenue than they expected during the pandemic.

Florida received different pockets of federal relief funding for its state budget, for cities and counties, and for schools, totaling an estimated $17.6 billion. It's not yet clear whether the governor plans to dip into some of those funds for the tax cuts.

The GOP-controlled legislature and DeSantis did tap into $200 million-worth of Biden's COVID stimulus to fund a 25-cents-per-gallon gas tax holiday in Florida that starts in October.

Still, DeSantis used the program to jab at Biden on Tuesday. "I'm the only one that's delivered a fuel tax holiday," he boasted, a reference to Biden calling for a national gas tax holiday that didn't have the support of Congress.

Read the original article on Business Insider