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Gas Tax Holiday Still Being Negotiated

March 9th, 2022 by Mike Vasilinda

A booming economy and billions in Federal money has Florida lawmakers looking to continue popular sales tax holidays and add a new one for working people is moving forward in the legislative sessions final days, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the one item not yet in the package is a top priority of the Governor.

Governor Ron deSantis announced his plans to suspend  the state’s 26.5 cent a gallon gas tax last November, telling reporters “It will be over a billion dollars so that will be real meaningful relief for people.”

He pushed the idea again during his state of the state in January reiterating for lawmakers “I’m proposing a one billion dollar gas tax holiday.”

But as gas prices hit record highs, the gas tax suspension is nowhere to be found in this years tax cut package passed by the House. Ways and Means Chair Rep. Bobby Payne

Says it is still on the table.

“I think we are considering some elements of the Governor’s proposal on gas tax” said Payne.

What is there is a back to school sales tax holiday for two weeks. A new one year exemption for baby clothes and diapers. Childrens books will be tax exempt for three months. Energy efficient appliances get a break, and there is a new tool time sales tax holiday for working Floridians.

When it comes to the Governor’s billion dollar plan to cut the gas tax for up to five  months, there are problems, says Chair Payne.

“Some of the pump owners, some of the station owners actually will retain a lot of that, so and how much merit do citizens, and how much relief do citizens of Flordia actually get when we have a lot of them so many people are from out of state visitors.”

But Payne says stay tuned.

“I believe it will be worked out. We’ll present our offer, the Senate will give us their offer back and we’ll come to some common ground pretty quickly.”

They’ll need to. Just over 48 hours remain in this years regular legislative session.”

House and Senate negotiators are playing their cards close to the vest today, but they expect to meet late today and make a decision on what part of the gas tax holiday is acceptable. 

A statement from the Governor’s office says in part:” in light of spiraling gas prices. The governor wants gas to be affordable to all Floridians and is willing to reduce tax burdens to make this possible. At this point, it is up to the legislature to pass these measures in the final budget.

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