Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a record tax relief bill, which will save Florida residents an estimated $1.1 billion, but critics point out that it’s President Joe Biden’s policies that will pay for it.
The package (HB 7071) includes major first-time initiatives, such as reducing gas taxes in October for around $200 million in driver savings, and a new week-long “Tool Time” sales tax holiday on skilled trade supplies for mechanics, carpenters, plumbers and electricians that may save around $12 million.
Florida has outpaced revenue estimates for 17 consecutive months despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the state a cushioned budget, according to Gov. DeSantis, who believes that the state will have a $20 billion surplus at the start of the next fiscal year, while at the same time warning that the nation may likely see a recession because of Biden’s pandemic relief efforts.
DeSantis told reporters last week that he was signing the bill to combat growing inflation:
“I think we’ve done more than any other state to step up against the Biden-flation headwinds to give relief to our citizens.”
Democrats have been critical of the move, saying the timing of the relief, just ahead of the 2022 Midterm elections, indicates it’s a purely political move.
Business Insider points out that some of the relief is ironically paid for by Biden’s plan:
“But at least one portion of the tax relief package is being paid for by congressional Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief measure, called the American Rescue Plan, that Biden signed into law last year. Republicans and even some outside analysts frequently blame the spending package for contributing to inflation.”