To confront inflation, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he will ask lawmakers next year to temporarily “zero out” state gas taxes.
Continuing to contrast his economic approach to the Biden White House, DeSantis said the approximately 25-cent-a-gallon “gas tax relief” proposal could save the average Florida family up to $200 over a five- to six-month period, while reducing state revenue by more than $1 billion. DeSantis wants lawmakers to approve it during the legislative session that starts Jan. 11.
“We’ve always been very strong on tax relief in Florida. We did things like sportsmen’s relief (a sales-tax “holiday” around July 4). We’ve done back-to-school (tax holidays). We’ve done all that stuff. And that’s good. But this is, I think, really, really big,” DeSantis said while at a Buc-ee’s convenience store in Daytona Beach.
Later at a Daily’s convenience store in Jacksonville, DeSantis said, “It’s clearly not going to eliminate all the inflation, because it’s gone up so much. But it will make a real difference in folks’ pocketbooks. And I think we’re going to get a lot of good support for that.”
Arch “Beaver” Aplin III, owner of the Texas-based Buc-ee’s chain, called the proposal a “phenomenal idea” and said he anticipates “most companies” will lower pump prices when the discount is enacted.
“If this, in fact, happens and they lower the tax, the day they lower it we’ll roll back the pumps the entire 25 cents instantly,” Aplin said.
Florida has deep financial reserves because of federal COVID-19 stimulus money, and DeSantis said the reduction in gas-tax revenue won’t hinder the state Department of Transportation’s annual road program.
“We’re doing infrastructure, not just roads, including roads, also the water resources, all that,” DeSantis said. “We probably have never had such strong reserves in the history of the state. So, we have the ability to provide relief for people, and I don’t think we’re going to miss a beat.”
Meanwhile, the AAA auto club reported the price of gas in Florida heading into the Thanksgiving holiday jumped 10 cents in the past week to an average of $3.36 a gallon for regular unleaded.
The mark is the highest for the state since September 2014.
Last year, as motorists cut travel because of COVID-19, gas was selling at an average of $2.03 a gallon heading into the holiday. Two years ago, the average was $2.44 a gallon.
“The good news is gas prices should gradually decline through the holiday,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a prepared statement. “Crude oil and gasoline futures dropped last week, and that should restore some downward pressure on prices at the pump.”
Jenkin said crude oil prices dropped 6 percent last week to $76.10 per barrel, the lowest since Oct. 1, when the Florida average price for gasoline was $3.05 per gallon.
DeSantis isn’t the first politician to pitch temporarily reducing gas prices.
Last week, Congressman Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who are running to be the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2022, separately tossed out the idea of a “gas tax holiday.”
“After calling for Ron DeSantis to help Floridians at the gas pump, he’s finally getting around to helping our working families,” Fried tweeted on Monday. “The gas tax should have been suspended the second oil companies were running up their profits in spring, but better late than never.”
Crist also suggested President Joe Biden tap into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help alleviate pump prices.
“Governor DeSantis is a day late and a dollar short,” Crist tweeted Monday. “Last week’s not-so-special (legislative) session should have addressed this issue instead of focusing on making COVID easier to spread. As a result, in the best-case Floridians will be waiting months for any reduction in gas taxes.”
Republicans nationally are hammering the Biden administration on inflation issues, with DeSantis, for example, pointing to higher costs for Thanksgiving dinners. The U.S. Farm Bureau on Thursday put the price of a “classic Thanksgiving feast” at $6.41 per person, or up 14 percent from last year, with the per-pound price of a turkey up 24 percent.
“Several factors contributed to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” Farm Bureau Senior Economist Veronica Nigh said in a prepared statement. “These include dramatic disruptions to the U.S. economy and supply chains over the last 20 months; inflationary pressure throughout the economy; difficulty in predicting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and high global demand for food, particularly meat.”
People are also eating more at home, which has increased supermarket demand, causing higher retail food prices, Nigh added.
–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida
Stupefied by the insanity says
Worst. Governor. Ever. He makes Claude Kirk seem great.
Rick G says
I love it when DeSantis and others of his persuasion like to take advantage of a program that he and hardly any of his compatriots supported. Talking out of both sides of his mouth. Enjoy the gas tax reducti0n, enjoy the Infrastructure Bill and remember who supported the legislation to make it possible.
Oh boy a big $33.00 a month according DeathSantis figures on lowering the gas tax. Hey Ron could you try sparking us a larger dime. After all you want to be Governor again and then President, remember. We can’t wait to see you and Donald go heads to heads, should be a real reality show for the world to see.
Bizarre — both parties making a pitch for temporary gas tax relief in Florida. Is Biden starting to get a message?
Ray W. says
As I understand the latest rumblings in the international crude oil market, a number of nations are discussing the release of crude oil from their national reserves, including the United States. If these nations do that, OPEC+ is considering backing away from its July decision to slowly increase crude oil production at a rate of 400,000 more barrels per day, after it voted in February to cut crude oil production by six million barrels per day, with Saudi Arabia voluntarily adding an additional one million barrels per day cut in production. The gullible continue to fall for the argument that Biden is responsible for the recent rapid increase in gasoline prices. Unless one can stretch credulity to the extent of believing that Biden asked OPEC+ to cut production, it just makes little sense to argue that Biden is behind the price increases. OPEC+ is behind the price increases. The much more reasonable argument is that the 23 OPEC+ nations want the extra money that comes from selling smaller quantities of crude oil at far higher prices. Win-win for OPEC+. Loss for the rest of the world. And the gullible keep falling for Republican arguments about crude oil prices.
As an aside, since the article veered off into turkey price inflation, on Sunday Publix sold me a turkey at the same price as it sold for last year, but that was the Publix sale price. Perhaps, the wholesale price on average is up 14%, but most articles point out that the prices are far higher for the smaller turkeys, which are harder to find right now. Prices for turkey breasts are up, too. The larger turkeys (2o lbs. and up) apparently are more plentiful. Winn-Dixie’s sale price was the same as Publix’s. As some articles point out, decisions were made earlier in the year to curb turkey production. I looked up a recent Reuters article addressing the issue. Apparently, fearing a second Covid-19-affected Thanksgiving, turkey producers decided to cut production. Perhaps, turkey producers were paying attention to the skyrocketing Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Florida earlier this year and thought it best to make sure they didn’t lose too much money by raising too many turkeys. Thanks, Governor DeSantis, for the turkey wholesale price inflation.
Thank you for pointing this out as I have become at my wits end telling folks the reasons behind the rise in Oil to no avail. WTG
Not enough really, they raise the price of fuel whether they’re taxed or not, so much they’re going to run out of tricks, the smoke & mirrors of their next gouges & deceits.
David S. says
DeathSantis your as stupid as a pile of horse manure it will never work.
Florida Governor IQ: 53.3
Thanks President Biden
Best governor ever. He will make a great president in 2024. He is so kind and understanding and has such strong values. I like that he unites and not divides.
His instructions from high came too late for the Special Session he called last week. Trump must have been on the golf course when Putin made his decision.
Dennis C Rathsam says
At least our governor is trying to help Floridians….Bidens war on fossel fuels is backfiring in his face. In stead of slowly moving toward electric, so folks can rebound themselves, and adapt. Not every one can afford a new electric car, and the moneys you need for a charger. Whats gonna happen to all these cars that use gas? What about our collector cars, from days gone by? The end of car shows, and Turkey Runs? Cant wait for the ellection, the GOP will prevail in the senate & the house, and we will nueter Biden and his anti American policies. This will ensure the working poor, will be able to drive their cars til the wheels fall off!
I would like some of what you are smoking, but hey, Happy Thanksgiving Mr. Dennis
PS Your comment didnt age well WTI down 9 plus USD today lol kerp puffing
DeSantis is big on smoke and mirrors and all to capture votes for his reelection.
I don’t need smoke and mirrors to know Desantis is good people and tries real hard to do good for ALL Floridians. How can anyone not see that. The left says stop the hate, but they have a hard time doing it themselves. I know, I live with a lib.
DeSantis will say anything to get a vote all of a sudden he is pretending to care about the people in Florida. Amazing what these phony politicians will do when they are up for re-election or election, then they want to be everyone’s friends after that they don’t even care if you live or die.
@To Whom It May Concern
The prick (desantis) is now spamming the FRS’ members with campaign literature posing as a press release. The little shit doesn’t miss a trick. There is literally no bottom for floriduh’s elected Republicans.
Will someone PLEASE call a cop?!
I Keep Six Honest Serving Men
I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.
I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends’em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!
— Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories (1902)
We shall see what will happen to Ron plan. That’s right Repubs put all the bad news on Biden. He is still your GREAT PRESIDENT. Much better than Lying Trump.