Florida's DeSantis unveils $2B tax relief plan to lower the burden of inflation

"Disney is no longer going to have self-government; they’re not going to have their own government." DeSantis said. "Disney is going to pay its fair share of taxes."

Updated: February 8, 2023 - 11:31pm

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants $2 billion in tax relief to lower the burden of inflation on Florida residents.

The second-term Republican held a news conference in Ocala Wednesday to discuss his tax relief plan.

The Family Focused Tax Relief is part of DeSantis’ Framework for Freedom budget, the biggest tax relief package in Florida history that includes tax-free exemptions on everyday items for families, including a 15-week tax free holiday from sales tax on tickets to events, parks and other recreational activities.

This is part of DeSantis’ "Freedom of Summer" initiative, which will allow lower costs for families to enjoy their home state.

"We have to take a big chunk of this money and return it to the taxpayers," DeSantis said.

Baby and toddler necessities will be permanently tax exempt. This includes shoes, clothes, cribs and strollers, food, diapers and wipes. Gas stoves will also be permanently tax exempt, calling the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's proposed gas stove ban "irrational." Pet medications purchased over the counter will no longer carry a tax.

Household items under $25 will receive a one-year tax holiday, which includes detergents, cleaning products and toilet paper.

DeSantis stated that Florida was better known as a retirement destination, but over the past two years, more families are migrating to the Sunshine State, and it is quickly becoming the fastest growing state in the United States.

DeSantis’ budget would appropriate more than $26 billion for K-12 schools along with $500 million in relief for frequent toll road and bridge users that went into effect earlier this year.

When asked about recent posts from President Donald Trump, DeSantis dismissed it and said that having to have a thick skin is a part of the territory and that he focuses on Florida.

"I spend my time delivering results for the people of Florida and fighting Joe Biden. That’s how I spend my time," DeSantis said, adding "I don’t spend my time trying to smear other Republicans."

DeSantis was also asked about the situation with Disney and whether the company will retain the tax and other privileges given to it by the Legislature in 1967. Both DeSantis and House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, said Disney will no longer be a self-governing entity.

DeSantis also added that Disney will pay its debt and will be paying increased taxes, a change from some of the privileges the company had through the Reedy Creek Improvement Act.

"Disney is no longer going to have self-government; they’re not going to have their own government." DeSantis said. "Disney is going to pay its fair share of taxes and Disney’s gonna honor the debt and this is exactly what this proposed legislation will do."

"There’s a new sheriff in town and that’s just the way it’s gonna be."

When asked why the Legislature is moving ahead quickly with Disney and not waiting for the regular session which begins in March, Speaker Renner replied, "Well we don’t wait around to fix things. If you look at the bill there’s at least a dozen things — were powers they had like building their own nuclear power plant — which are gone. They (Disney) were the watchdog of themselves and now they’re not."