Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced what has been described as the “largest tax relief proposal” in the Sunshine State’s history, which includes permanent sales tax relief on baby and toddler necessities, gas stoves, and more.
Speaking in Marion County, DeSantis briefly highlighted the state of affairs economically in Florida, noting that the state has one of the lowest per capita tax burdens in the country and no income tax while promising to “keep it that way.”
“We also have one of the lowest per capita debt burdens in the country,” he said, touting the state’s top status in terms of the formation of new businesses, as well as the state’s massive $22 billion surplus out of a $109 billion budget.
“So that’s a massive surplus. We’ve never had anything approaching that in the history of the state of Florida,” he said before announcing tax relief proposals for Florida families moving forward, many of which he laid out during last week’s budget announcement.
“One of the things that we’re going to propose is a permanent tax exemption on all baby and toddler necessities, diapers, baby clothes, shoes, baby wipes, cribs, and strollers,” he said during Wednesday’s press conference, listing more permanent sales tax exemptions.
“Included in our permanent relief is going to be permanent sales tax exemption for gas stoves,” he said to applause, noting that the Biden administration is trying to backtrack. “They are trying to take away your gas stove.”
DeSantis explained that it should remain an individual’s choice if they want to use a gas stove and that elites “ultimately want to control the amount of energy you consume,” speculating that it is their “ultimate vision.”
“That does not fly in the state of Florida, so we’re not going to let that happen here,” he continued, noting that the state still has a tax holiday on all Energy Star appliances, which will continue.
The permanent sales tax exemption will also include over-the-counter pet medications.
DeSantis added that, under his proposal, there would be additional one-year tax holidays for “key items” including children’s books, children’s toys, and youth athletic equipment.
“We’re going to continue with our two weeks disaster preparedness sales tax holiday… We’re also — and I think this is going to be really, really good for all — household items under $25 like detergent, TP so all that stuff, no sales tax for items under $25 for one year,” DeSantis said, also announcing the proposal includes a one-year sales tax exemption on pet food as well.
DeSantis also said the state will extend last year’s Freedom Summer tax holiday:
We also did something this past summer, the first ever Freedom Week tax holiday. And so it was like outdoor equipment tickets for like events or museums or whatever, because we want Floridians to enjoy the summer. It can get a little hot, so we want to be able to provide that. So that was popular, but it was kind of a short period of time. So we’re going to take that Freedom Summer tax holiday and we’re going to make it 15 weeks throughout the summer. So you will save on outdoor activity supplies equipment all summer long. And that’ll save Floridians one quarter of a billion dollars this summer.
All of this would amount to roughly $2 billion in tax relief, according to the governor.