The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 8.6 percent on Friday, marking the highest rate of inflation in more than 40 years, and exceeding the 8.3 percent projection by economists. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis responded to the inflation update by highlighting economic action taken by Gov. Ron DeSantis to fight inflation, including over $3 billion in budget vetoes as well as a $200 million gas tax cut.
DeSantis set a state record for dollar amount vetoed with his budget signing in early June. In order to combat what he referred to as unnecessary spending, DeSantis vetoed $3.1 billion in spending and slashing the original iteration of the budget to its ultimate total of $109.9 billion.
Key vetoes included $350 million in grants for local governments and non-state entities, $645 million for a new prison complex, and $75 million for a proposed University of South Florida Environmental & Oceanographic Sciences Research & Teaching Facility.
“As the poor and middle class continue having their savings siphoned away by historic inflation, the Biden Administration’s strategy of finger-pointing has yet to deliver any results for anyone in the country. There are millions of ways the federal government could reduce costs on American families by cutting regulations, supporting America’s energy sector, and addressing ongoing supply chain issues,” said Patronis. “Thanks in large part to Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida stands in complete contrast to the Washington establishment. This session, the Governor delivered $1.2 billion in tax relief, including a $200 million gas tax cut for the month of October that will maximize benefits to Florida residents.”
Nearly half of Floridians (48 percent) either “strongly” or “somewhat agree” that inflation has impacted their ability to pay essential bills, and over three-fourths (77 percent) say that inflation has impacted their grocery spending, according to a recent University of South Florida public research poll.
Additionally, survey results show that Floridians have had difficulties in keeping up with mortgage and rent payments over the past year. About a quarter of Floridians (24 percent) say that they have had a hard time keeping up with their rent and mortgage payments over the past year, and one in three (35 percent) noted that their current household income does not support the cost of renting or buying a home in the state.
“I’m, quite frankly, concerned and worried about Biden plunging us into a recession,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a past press conference. “If you look at what he did when he came in, decided to print trillions and trillions of dollars, and the result of that’s been the worst inflation we’ve seen in this country in four decades. It’s killing people across the board to have to pay so much for gasoline, have to pay so much for bills, and have to pay so much for food.”
In totality, three-fourths of Floridians are “somewhat” or “very dissatisfied” with how the federal government is managing inflation and the rising costs of goods and services (77 percent).
With home values increasing by almost 70 percent in Florida over the past five years, 36 percent of Floridians who don’t own a home say that they are putting off buying due to the hot market as well as increased expenses, such as rising insurance premiums.
Despite this, Florida’s economy has fared better than most, to which Patronis attributes DeSantis’ commitment to keeping business and services operational during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Florida is able to provide this tax relief while having plenty of cash-on-hand because of the Governor’s decision to keep Florida open, while battling COVID-19, which has created a more resilient economy – of which people from states like New York and New Jersey are flocking to in droves,” Patronis said.