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Florida governor seeks to cut gasoline tax

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) – Gov. Ron DeSantis stopped by two convenience store chains Monday to announce plans to cut gas prices by suspending collection of the 26.5-cent-per-gallon tax the state.

State lawmakers won’t be able to act until consumers see an automatic eight-tenths-of-a-cent increase on January 1.

Florida cut the gasoline tax by eight cents a gallon for the last time, just for August of 2004.

“I propose that we reduce the state’s gasoline tax by ten cents,” then state representative Bob Henrique said in March 2004.

Henrique, now Hillsborough real estate appraiser, pushed the idea of ​​a gas tax holiday.

“It’s costing me an extra $ 25 per week,” financial consultant Doc Viker said.

But at stops in Daytona and then Jacksonville, Governor Ron DeSantis announced his intention to suspend collection of the tax for up to six months.

“It will be many months and it will be over a billion dollars. So it will be a real and significant relief for people, ”said DeSantis.

The 2004 cut resulted in gas hoarding, which affected supply. As some companies did not comply, the state set up hotlines for consumers.

Florida’s 26.5-cent gasoline tax will automatically adjust for inflation, rising to 27.3 cents on January 1.

Two top Democrats competing to run against DeSantis last week asked him to stop the January increase.

Democratic state representative Anna Eskamani said that despite the politics at stake, it’s a good idea.

“It’s a cut worthy of discussing because it’s regressive and therefore it’s going to benefit ordinary people,” Eskamani said.

And pool contractor Steven Gilmore told us that if the tax drops, he can start saving again.

“It would be good for me. I don’t know if it will be good for the budget, ”Gilmore said.

The state has billions in reserves and gasoline tax collections increased by half a billion last year from what was planned, so money is not an issue.

The cuts could arrive early next year and must first be approved by state lawmakers.

They begin their annual session on January 11.


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