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DeSantis signs tax relief package into law

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(The Center Square) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a tax relief bill into law on Tuesday.

The second-term Republican governor signed House Bill 7073 in Cape Canaveral, saying it is important to provide relief to Floridians particularly since the state is running a large budget surplus and paying down debt.

“The national debt has skyrocketed, particularly in the last ten years,” DeSantis said. “In Florida, if you take our entire debt from the history of Florida, we’ve reduced it by over 25% just since I’ve been governor.”

DeSantis added that the new legislation brings over $1 billion in tax relief, and further stated that since 2019, over $7 billion in tax relief has been given to Floridians.

The sales tax holidays in the package include a 14-day back-to-school sales tax holiday, a hurricane preparedness holiday and Freedom Month during July which will provide a sales tax holiday for fishing supplies, pool supplies, outdoor equipment and admissions to museums and state parks.

As part of Florida’s accelerated debt repayment program, $500 million has been allocated in the budget to pay down the state’s debt further. DeSantis added that Florida now has the lowest per capita debt than any other state at $600 per Floridian.

“When you’re running big budget surpluses, you’ve gotta be able to return some of that back to the taxpayers,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis noted that because the state is running a budget in surplus, he and the Legislature can appropriate more funds for protection for Florida’s natural resources, including restoring the Indian River Lagoon and the Everglades and mitigating issues like red tides for coastal communities.

DeSantis also pointed out that Florida has become a popular destination for Americans wanting to relocate and said this is because Florida is better governed and offers a better quality of life.

“Another thing that we’re doing, child-focused tax credits, so we are now doubling the state’s investment in the Strong Families Tax Credit from $20 million to $40 million,” DeSantis said. “So this provides tax credits to companies that make charitable contributions to child welfare organizations.”

DeSantis added there is another tax credit focused on child care. Employers can claim the tax credit if they provide child care onsite, or are part of a program to help get employees the child care they need.