Gov. Ron DeSantis bemoaned “bad juju” from the Joe Biden administration in reaction to proposals for a more active federal role in tracking transactions and driver data. But he may have left out context while doing so.
DeSantis offered on Friday unsolicited criticisms of proposals to have the Internal Revenue Service track transactions exceeding $600 and mileage for a potential tax, as attempts to have the federal government “snoop” in people’s lives.
“With what’s going on in Washington, they want to take every bank account of $600 and snoop on your bank account! We need to stop that. That is totally unacceptable,” DeSantis said Friday in Northport.
“The statement that has been making the rounds that the IRS will be monitoring every transaction is extremely misleading,” said Samantha Jacoby, a senior tax legal analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, to the AP. “The only thing that the IRS would have access to is two new numbers, total gross inflows and gross outflows for the whole year.”
DeSantis also took issue with another controversial legislative proposal, a so-called mileage tax study that raised surveillance concerns for the Governor. That is already in the $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the Senate. It still needs to be passed by the House of Representatives.
“There was also one of the bills where they wanna, and I think it’s a pilot for now but you know they expand it. They want to track how much mileage you’re doing on your car and tax you. So how the hell are they gonna do that? Follow you around? So there’s some really, really bad juju going on up there right now,” DeSantis said, of the bill that would establish the study.
“The idea that billionaires aren’t paying enough taxes so therefore we need to snoop on people that have a bank account of $600 or more. Um, you know, I may have been born on a Tuesday but it wasn’t last Tuesday,” DeSantis contended. “So please, please stop the insanity. And we want to protect people’s financial privacy 100%.”
An image repeatedly shared on Facebook shows a screenshot of a Newsmax report on “Biden tax increases” that refers to a “driving tax.” The screenshot shows bullets saying “per-mile user fee,” “estimated to be 8 cents per mile,” and “amounts vary depending on vehicles.”
But the Biden administration has not proposed such a mileage tax, as the image falsely suggests, according to an AP fact check.
For DeSantis, Friday’s fulmination furthers a trend of complaining about “bad juju” from the Biden administration. He had used the same retro phrasing in March, objecting over that season’s stimulus bill.
Content from The Associated Press was used in this report.