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Floridians could 'save thousands' with $2B tax relief budget, DeSantis says

From tolls to baby necessities to pet food to entertainment, DeSantis said families have the potential to save thousands of dollars.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida will be providing its biggest tax relief ever to Floridians in the upcoming state budget.

He made the announcement while outlining some of the many things within the proposed "Framework for Freedom" budget, which totals a record-setting $114.8 billion.

"Florida is stronger than ever," DeSantis declared after mentioning the state withstanding the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and nationwide shortages and supply chain issues. 

DeSantis noted the state's low unemployment rate and the fast growth of the Sunshine State as part of Florida's success. 

The governor said the state's success accounts for the large reserves, which exceed $15 billion. In turn, DeSantis said it allows for the state to propose $2 billion in tax relief across the state. 

He said the $2 billion is including the $500 million allocated for toll relief back in December during the special session. 

Among tax relief proposed in the budget is a permanent sales tax exclusion on all baby "necessities," DeSantis said, which includes cribs, strollers, baby food, diapers, wipes and baby clothes, to name a few. 

Another permanent tax-free initiative DeSantis is proposing in the budget is on all over-the-counter pet medications, "'Cause they're part of our family, too," he said. 

He also said gas stoves would be permanently tax-free, too, in light of recent headlines circulating that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was considering a ban on them in response to a recent study on the harmful respiratory effects of cooking with gas stoves. The CPSC cleared the air saying regulations apply to new products, and Americans can choose to switch from gas to electric for an $840 rebate under the Inflation Reduction Act. 

DeSantis continued, mentioning a 1-year sales tax holiday for household items under $25, covering everything from "detergent to trash bags." Other year-long sales tax holidays will also include all dental hygiene products, toiletries, children's books and toys, kids athletic equipment and pet food. 

"This is going to be really good for families in Florida," DeSantis said. "If you do all this stuff — if a family commutes, if they have young kids — you're potentially saving thousands of dollars in savings when all this is said and done." 

Other sales tax initiatives include: 

  • $140 million in small business relief 
  • Two back-to-school sales tax holidays — one in the fall and one in the spring
  • Another year of a 14-day sales tax holiday for disaster preparedness ahead of hurricane season
  • A 15-week sales tax holiday, aka "Freedom Summer," for outdoor activities, tickets for concerts, events and museums and other entertainment.

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