Governor DeSantis signs sweeping tax law in Ocala

OCALA, Florida. – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 7071 into law Friday morning, which he says equates to $1.2 billion in tax relief via new exemptions and holidays, including a month-long gas tax relief in October.

The law, which you can read by clicking here, landed on DeSantis’ desk the day before, along with 16 other bills. The governor said it was the largest tax relief program in Florida history.

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“The Legislature came up with a number of proposals and ended up putting in place a really important thing – so the tax relief that you’re going to see (will) be breaks for really critical needs like gas, diapers, disaster supplies, tools for the skilled trades, recreational activities, etc., so families can save for things that really matter to them,” DeSantis said.

The gas tax relief is set to take place in October, just before the November election – a time when Florida lawmakers who pushed for the legislation said fewer tourists would be in the state to to profit from. The pause will come more than six months after Florida set new records for average gasoline prices in March.

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Tax exemptions are coming very soon. May will see tax exemptions for purchases of children’s books and disaster preparedness supplies, as required by law.

To learn more about each tax exemption, including lists of eligible items, click here.

“If you want to fortify your property, you can do it tax-free. You know, some of these things, it’s not like you can fortify property for 50 bucks. You know, it’s a big investment, and so the savings will be significant and we encourage Floridians to take advantage of that,” DeSantis said.

The law does more than establish tax exemptions, including July’s “freedom week,” which returns for a second year.

It also includes changes such as restrictions on what counties can now charge borrowers, changes to how real estate, farm and other assets are assessed, exemptions for certain military personnel deployed overseas and/or in certain military operations, exemptions for affordable housing operators. and exemptions on property valued up to $5,000 for the widowed, widowed, blind and permanently disabled.

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Section 14 of the bill deals with “reimbursement of taxes for home improvements rendered uninhabitable by a catastrophic event”, defining the term “home improvement” as real property used and owned as family property, excluding structures “not essential to the use and occupancy of the dwelling or residential home, including but not limited to a detached utility building, detached carport, detached garage, partition, fence or swimming pool, and does not include land. »

Elaine Carr, a mother from Ocala who attended the signing event, said she was looking forward to “a little break.”

“I’m super excited that he did this for us parents in Florida, because we’re just – we’re struggling, you know, so any small gesture can help for sure,” Carr said.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a statement that the money used for tax breaks and holidays came to DeSantis from President Biden and his fellow Democrats.

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Here are the tax holidays outlined in the law — along with what DeSantis said each holiday would save Florida taxpayers — in the order in which they will occur:

  • May 14 to August 14- Children’s books ($3.3M)

  • May 28 to June 10- disaster preparedness ($25.6M)

  • July 1 to 7- “Freedom Week”: event tickets and recreational equipment ($70.6M)

  • July 1 to June 30, 2023- Energy Star Appliances ($78.5M); Diapers for children ($38.9M); Baby clothes and shoes ($81.5M)

  • July 1 to June 30, 2024- Impact resistant windows and doors ($442.8M)

  • July 25 to August 7- School supplies, backpacks, clothes and shoes ($100M)

  • Sept. 3 to 9- Tools, other home improvement items ($12.4M)

  • Oct 1-31- Gasoline Tax Exemption ($200 million)

The sum of the numbers above is just over $1.05 billion.

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