Governor Ron DeSantis spoke in Daytona Beach on Monday morning alongside Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault where he called for $1 billion in gas tax relief.
Rising gas costs have been a chief issue not just for Floridians, but Americans nationwide, as the average cost per gallon currently sits at $3.40 nationally and $3.35 in Florida.
“What we’re going to be proposing in the next legislative session is over $1 billion in gas tax relief,” said DeSantis. “There’s a whole bunch of things that go into the price of gas, different taxes, federal, state, local level. We’re taking over 25 cents from Florida and we’ll basically zero that out for as long as we can and do over a billion dollars.”
DeSantis attributed the skyrocketing gas prices to the ongoing inflation crisis, highlighting the growing costs of consumer items like thanksgiving dinners and household supplies.
“If we were standing here a year ago in Daytona, you could get a gallon of gas for $1.31 cheaper than it is today,” said the governor. “And that’s really true throughout the rest of the country. People are having to pay a lot more for gas … and I wonder with all of these inflationary pressures you’re printing more money? That’s not going to help.”
DeSantis also stated that the state was looking into supplementary toll relief for highways.
The call for a gas tax relief comes just four days after the announcement of the increased state fuel tax rate from 18.5 cents per gallon to 19 cents per gallon. The state fuel tax rate is adjusted annually in accordance with consumer information in order to better reflect economic status.
Buc-ee’s owner Arch “Beaver” Aplin III joined DeSantis where he stated that he would immediately adjust gas prices if the measure is passed.
“This is really a big deal. The Governor called me several weeks ago and had this concept of a gas tax relief, and I thought it was a great idea,” said Aplin. “Inflation is real. It’s here and there’s no question about it. Buc-ee’s will absolutely commit if this happens, if it passes, and we will roll back prices the 25 cents.”
When asked if other gas station companies would also lower their prices, DeSantis said that he has spoken to various gas companies like Racetrack and Wawa and that they said they would.
“We actually reached out and talked to them and they all said yes, absolutely,” DeSantis replied.