Governor Ron DeSantis Proposes $1.1 Billion of ‘Family-Focused’ Tax Relief, but Savings Won’t Begin Until 2023

Toby Hazlewood

Tax savings to take effect next year (if approved)
Governor Ron DeSantisTwitter of GovRonDeSantis

On September 20, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis spoke at a press conference to announce his latest proposals to help Floridians through the cost-of-living crisis - $1.1 billion of what he termed "Family-Focused" tax savings. The only downside - the savings won't come into effect until the middle of 2023, and then only if state legislators approve the measures early next year.

The proposed measures are intended to help Florida's parents to lower the cost of raising young families by introducing a series of sales tax holidays, and permanently suspending other taxes too.

The $1.1 billion in total savings being offered under these proposals would be funded from Florida's budgetary surplus of $20.81 billion - announced by Governor DeSantis in June of this year and accumulated through what he termed "fiscal responsibility"

Tax savings for families

The tax savings proposed by Governor DeSantis to be considered during the 2022-23 legislative season have been summarized on the governor's website as follows:
Proposed Tax Relief in

In addition to repeating the tax holidays that have been held in 2022 (a total cost of $196 million), the 2023 proposals will add a second set of back-to-school sales tax holidays (now in fall and in spring) and permanently exempt kids-essentials (including clothing and diapers) from being taxable items.

While the measures are likely to help out many Floridians, particularly those raising young families, there will be many who aren't affected and who don't benefit. There will also be many who are wondering why they can't be enacted now when so many are struggling to meet the cost-of-living as it is.

In 2022 many Floridians could have benefited from the suspension of sales tax on gasoline but this tax holiday has been held over until October, just before the gubernatorial election. In neighboring Georgia however, Governor Brian Kemp suspended gas taxes in March and the suspension remains in place.

Helping Floridians through "Bidenflation"

The cost-of-living crisis is affecting all Americans right now. Governor DeSantis has been critical of President Biden and the federal government for the current economic crisis which he has termed "Bidenflation".

On September 18, DeSantis went as far to tell the audience at a rally in Wisconsin that his "rule of thumb" when it comes to economic and financial decisions is to do the exact opposite of President Biden.

Whether this policy works for DeSantis, or has played any part in devising the latest round of proposed tax savings is unclear. Either way, whether the measures are approved by state legislators, and how much they help Floridians remains to be seen.

Do you think that sales tax holidays are sufficient help for Floridians struggling to meet the cost of living? What financial help would you like to receive to help you through the cost-of-living crisis? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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