Spending to save to meet the rising cost of living
On July 29, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis promoted the start of the state's latest sales tax holiday - temporarily abandoning taxes on school supplies as families prepare to send their kids back to school. sales tax holiday runs through August 7.
The tax savings are one of a number of tax holidays announced by the governor back in April of 2022, intended as a means of helping Floridians to deal with the cost-of-living crisis that is gripping the nation. While the savings will of course be welcome, many will be wondering if this is the extent of help they're likely to be offered.
Rising inflation and fears of recession
Earlier this month, the federal government announced that the rate of inflation in the U.S. had reached a forty year high of 9.1% - something that Governor DeSantis and Florida Senator Rick Scott have both blamed on President Biden and his administration.
On July 27, the Fed also increased interest rates by 0.75% after the second consecutive month of the U.S. economy contracting, prompting fears and a debate over whether the country is in fact now in a recession or not.
Whatever label is put upon the situation, there can be little doubt that Americans are struggling to make financial ends meet. In Florida in particular, the costs of housing, gasoline and groceries are still way higher than they were even a year ago. As Nikki Fried, Democratic hopeful for the gubernatorial election put it - "Floridians can't afford Florida anymore."
At such times, perhaps Floridians will be hoping for more by way of financial help from their governor than the opportunity to save money on sales tax when they buy school supplies for their kids?
Spend to save?
While the sales tax holidays are welcomed by those who can afford to buy new supplies for their kids, many might be more appreciative of a financial stimulus payment like those that have been awarded to certain select groups in Florida recently.
Teachers, police officers and firefighters have all received bonus payments from the state this year. Families with foster or adoptive kids also recently received a stimulus check for $450 from the governor, to help them with the rising cost of living.
Perhaps it's time that Governor DeSantis and his leadership debate whether to use some of the state's $20 billion budgetary surplus to help out more Floridians with cash they can spend on the essentials of life?
Do you think that sales tax savings are enough to help Floridians to weather the cost-of-living crisis, or do you think that Governor DeSantis should be issuing financial stimulus checks to help out with cash? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.