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Get the latest coverage of the 2024 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

Economist says DeSantis' 2024 proposed tax relief is 'marginally beneficial'

Ron DeSantis looking to the left behind a microphone
Charlie Neibergall
Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra's, R-Iowa, Faith and Family with the Feenstras event, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Florida lawmakers will meet beginning Monday for the annual regular legislative session. They’re required to pass a state budget, which Gov. Ron DeSantis released his recommendations for in December.

When lawmakers meet for the regular legislative session on January 9, the only thing they’re required to pass is the state budget.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has released his recommendations for the 2024 budget, which totals more than $114 billion.

Listen to the full conversation between WMFE's Talia Blake and Rollins College's Anca Voicu in the player above.

Proposed Tax Relief Package

Gov. Ron DeSantis' proposed Focus on Florida's Future budget for fiscal year 2024-2025 includes more than $1.1 billion in tax relief.

Here's the breakdown, according to the governor's website:

Anca Voicu is a professor of economics at Rollins College
PHOTO:SCOTT COOK/Scott Cook Photography
Rollins College
Anca Voicu is a professor of economics at Rollins College

  • A one-year exemption on taxes, fees and assessments for Homeowners Insurance Policies, saving taxpayers $409 million and decreasing the average insurance premium by up to 6%.
  • A permanent exemption on Flood Insurance Policies, saving taxpayers $22 million over the year.
  • A permanent sales tax exemption on over-the-counter pet medications, saving Florida families $37 million and helping keep our family pets healthy.
  • A tax credit for businesses that employ Floridians with unique abilities, saving these businesses $5 million annually.
  • Two Back-to-School sales tax holidays, one in the fall and one in the spring. This will save Florida families $169 million on school supplies, clothing and computers.
  • Two Disaster Preparedness sales tax holidays, saving Floridians $49 million on supplies needed during disasters.
  • A three-month Freedom Summer sales tax holiday, saving Florida families more than $241 million on outdoor recreation items to entertain the kids during the summer.
  • A 7-day Tool Time sales tax holiday, saving skilled workers more than $16 million on tools they need for work.
  • An increase of the sales tax collection allowance to save small businesses $165 million.

Anca Voicu, professor of economics and head of Rollins College’s Women in Finance Program, said those tax reliefs are marginally beneficial.

"It's not going to make a huge impact, that's for sure," she said. "It will have to do with how well households will organize around those periods when there's going to be a sales tax relief."

To read the full proposed budget, click here.

What's missing?

During the 2023 legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill expanding the state's school voucher program, making it available to all families regardless of their income.

The expansion of the program was wrapped in controversy at the beginning of the school year, with many families complaining about late voucher payments.

DeSantis' proposed budget shows a planned investment of $27.8 billion in K-12 public school funding, which will help cover more than 274,000 students who are expected to participate Florida's school choice program.

However, Anca Voicu said the proposed budget still does not adequately meet the demand for vouchers.

"Without dedicated revenue on the growth of vouchers, the funding for K-12 education will erode further," she said.
Copyright 2024 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.

Talia Blake
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