Seven weeks before he squares off against Democrat Charlie Crist in November’s election, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis boasted a series of tax breaks he is proposing to help families while knocking inflation he blamed on Crist’s party.
The governor noted that the state granted $1.2 billion in tax relief for the current year with measures like a tax holiday on baby-related purchases like diapers and wipes. The plan is to continue this and do more in the coming year.
“What we’re going to do next year is we’re going to make that permanent, so that baby items, cribs, strollers, no tax on that,” DeSantis said at an Education Freedom event in Boca Raton, Fla.
He then rattled off a list of other sales tax breaks he is proposing for next year.
“We’re going to do no tax on school books, kids books. We’re going to do no tax on athletic equipment for kids. We’re going to do no tax on toys for 12 and under, We want families to do well,” DeSantis said to raucous applause.
DeSantis also added that he wants there to be no tax on pet food.
He then placed blame on Democrats in the nation’s capital for causing inflation that necessitated such action.
“And you see the inflation that we’re having to deal with because of all the stuff they’re doing in Washington,” he said. “They printed trillions of dollars, they’re trying to kneecap energy production, of course you’re going to get inflation when you do those policies. And so inflation has not gone down, it went up the last month. Energy, unfortunately, is going to go up again between now and the end of the year, so this is pinching people, not just in Florida but all across the country[.]”
The proposed tax breaks are in addition to a plan DeSantis announced weeks ago to cut tolls for commuters by 50%, a measure that he said would save Floridians up to $500 million.
DeSantis first announced the tax relief proposals earlier in the day, citing what he said is the largest budget surplus in the state’s history.
“When you have the big surplus, you want to be able to lighten the burden off folks,” he said at an event in Bradenton, Fla.
The governor warned that rising interest rates will “continue to put a drag on the economy” and that while Florida will “do better than the average state,” they will still feel the effects, and he is “concerned about some of the turmoil that’s yet to come.”