As they have dominated Florida politics for the past two decades, Republicans have touted that they are the party of low taxes.
But get ready to hear Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and other Democrats try to flip that message and portray Ron DeSantis as raising taxes on working Floridians.
Fried, who is widely expected to run against DeSantis next year, quickly started with the messaging after DeSantis late Monday signed a bill (SB 50) that will require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians.
The bill will use the estimated $1 billion in additional annual revenue to curb taxes on businesses. First, the money will go to replenish a depleted unemployment trust fund that otherwise would need to be restored by higher taxes on businesses. In the future, the additional sales-tax revenue will be used to offset a reduction in a commercial-rent tax.
But while businesses will benefit from the bill, Fried and other Democrats argue that Floridians will pay more when they make purchases online — though technically they were already supposed to be paying the sales taxes.
“Republicans always pledge to cut taxes — but they only deliver on this promise for large corporations,” Fried’s political committee, Florida Consumers First, said in a fundraising email Wednesday. “Case in point: In the wake of an economic crisis that devastated working families, DeSantis asked us to pay more.”
Republished with permission of The News Service of Florida.