Ron DeSantis rolls out plan to ‘zero out’ gas taxes, lower prices at the pump
DeSantis returned to Buc-ee's with news about saving bucks.

DeSantis bucees
Gas stations will cut prices also.

During stops at convenience stores in Daytona and Jacksonville, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he intends to propose “over a billion dollars in gas tax relief for Florida families” as a hedge against inflation.

Florida would “basically zero out” the 26.5-cent per gallon state gas tax for “as long as we can,” DeSantis said at the Daytona Buc-ee’s early Monday morning.

DeSantis noted Florida has always “been very strong on tax relief,” citing back to school and sportsmen tax holidays. But he suggested this was even more important.

“This is really, really big to be able to help people,” DeSantis said in Daytona.

DeSantis said the House and Senate are ready to move also.

“I know they want to work with us on gas tax relief,” DeSantis said in Daytona of the Legislature, before rattling off a laundry list of other priorities in a “very, very busy” 2022 Legislative Session.

Corporate partners, including Buc-ees, are vowing to “rollback” prices 25 cents a gallon if the tax relief becomes law.

It is unknown whether smaller operators will be able to afford to do this, but the Governor suggested that if a big store like Buc-ee’s lowers prices, the competition will have to follow suit.

“It’s a competitive market,” DeSantis said in Jacksonville, at the second news conference of the morning highlighting this proposal.

Indeed, a number of companies are ready to lower prices.

“Governor DeSantis is spot on. It’s tough right now. Keeping up with costs, costs are rising every single day and this is an incredible way to give back to everyday Floridians,” said Aubrey Edge, President and CEO of Daily’s.

“This gas tax relief is going to make it right back to the customer and it will happen instantly as soon as the legislature gets it done and we are happy to be a part of it,” said Arch H. “Beaver” Applin III, President of Buc-ee’s.

“Wawa is supportive of the Governor’s leadership and this action to provide relief for consumers at the pump,” said Chris Gheysens, President & CEO of Wawa, Inc.

DeSantis said his office talked to still other chains, including smaller ones like Race Trac, and they are on board. The Governor noted gas sales often serve as an inducement for people to buy other things.

“I buy so much stuff when I go into the gas station,” DeSantis said.

In the gas station and everywhere else, price pressures are clear to the Governor.

“Man, this inflation is real, and we need to do something about it,” DeSantis said, noting rising prices are a “huge problem” for “blue-collar” and “people on fixed incomes.”

Republican legislators from throughout the area, including Sen. Tom Wright and Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff, were on hand in Dayton

The Governor headed to Jacksonville for another news conference later in the morning, where Duval County Republicans were on hand. Congressman John Rutherford, state Reps. Cord Byrd and Jason Fischer and expected mayoral candidate Daniel Davis also showed up, with Davis standing behind the Governor throughout the event.

JAXPORT CEO Eric Green testified to the impact of high gas prices on shipping, lauding DeSantis’ “quick action.”

But is it quick enough?

Democrats running for Governor, most notably U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, have suggested a gas tax suspension through the holidays. Crist issued a statement criticizing this proposal as insufficient.

“Gov. DeSantis, is a day late and a dollar short as usual. Last week’s not-so-Special Session should have addressed this issue instead of focusing on making it easier for the pandemic to continue spreading. Now in the best case, Floridians will have to wait months for any reduction in gas taxes,” Crist caviled.

Florida’s gas tax is currently 26.5 cents a gallon. It is just one component of taxation, including federal gas taxes (18.4 cents a gallon) and local option gas taxes, which can be up to 12 cents a gallon.

The Governor can only affect the first of those categories.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


14 comments

  • A Zito

    November 22, 2021 at 9:59 am

    We do have the best Governor in DeSantis, Biden’s energy policy is a burden on the poor.
    Who in their right mind would shut down our pipeline as soon as he took office?

    Reply

    • Evan

      November 22, 2021 at 11:05 am

      Biden is beholden to his green energy big donors. Trump financed his own campaign. He owed no one any favors.

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    • Tom

      November 26, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      DeSantis rocks. America’s Governor.
      He will be GOP nominee if Trump does not run.

      If Gov Ron runs, he will win.
      He will defeat uncle Joe or Giggles Harris.

      Reply

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  • tom palmer

    November 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Another publicity stunt; how will this affect infrastructure funding?

    Reply

    • I hate Tom Palmer

      November 22, 2021 at 7:39 pm

      Since you think it’s a publicity stunt why don’t you give all of us that can barely afford to fill up their cars with gasoline gas cards.

      Reply

    • tjb

      November 23, 2021 at 9:08 am

      It is a billion dollars or more not coming into the state budget. Money that is used for roads, etc = infrastructure.

      Reply

      • Tom

        November 24, 2021 at 7:16 am

        Florida is flush with tremendous revenue growth and has very strong revenue projections and healthy reserves to utilize.

        Gov Ron, America’s Governor is on the side on the side of peeps. Florida roads were worked on addressed during the pandemic. Brilliant move by Gov.

        Do you and Palmer care bout the trillions that Biden is spending causing inflation. Few benefit from any of it. It’s unnecessary.

        Reply

    • Tom

      November 24, 2021 at 7:08 am

      P R stunt Palmer ? Really

      What bout releasing 50 million of our reserves, which is essentially barely 3 days of our consumption.

      When you cut the pipeline, eliminate and reduce domestic production by two million barrels from 13 million to 11 million and discourage oil company production, this is what you get. Are you happy now with your vote! What a joke. Sec of energy granholm/ex gov Michigan is a hater and she’s trying to shut down a Michigan pipeline with that incompetent gov whitmer.

      Palmer you belong to the stunt party.

      Reply

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