Will lawmakers omit Gov. DeSantis’ insurance tax cut plan from tax package?
DeSantis green lights millions for improved security at Jewish schools to combat antisemitism.

Ron DeSantis
'We would want some comfort that it’s going straight to the consumer, straight to the policyholder.'

As insurance premiums have shot up in recent years, lawmakers have addressed it by limiting lawsuits and payouts for lawyers, a change they said would need time to settle in the market before homeowners saw relief in rates.

But Gov. Ron DeSantis had one plan in his budget recommendation that would immediately reduce rates, if only for a time: a one-year elimination of insurance premium taxes. It is projected to save homeowners $431 million.

However, when the House released its tax cut package (HB 7073) last week, the insurance tax cut wasn’t included. The size of the cut likely made it hard to include, since the overall bill reduces taxes by $728.1 million over two years.

But there are logistical hurdles as well.

House Speaker Paul Renner, a Palm Coast Republican, said eliminating the tax for just one year could pressure future legislators to continue to cut the tax, potentially giving up a large amount of revenue. Then there’s the issue of mandating rate relief for homeowners.

Rates are approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation months before they take effect. DeSantis’ plan calls for a one-year cut in insurance premium taxes, fees and assessments starting July 1 on homes valued at $750,000 or less.

“We’re not going to hand it off to an insurer to absorb that,” Renner told reporters Thursday. “We would want some comfort that it’s going straight to the consumer, straight to the policyholder.”

Renner added that DeSantis’ plan could still make it into the final bill, after negotiations with the Senate.

“This is a starting point and we’ll still continue the conversation,” he said. “We don’t have opposition necessarily to finding a way to give homeowners … a break.”

The House plan also skimps on other areas of DeSantis’ tax cut recommendations.

DeSantis proposed two separate two-week back-to-school sales tax holidays, one at the beginning of the Fall semester and another in January at the start of the Spring semester, as the Legislature approved for the current year. The House plan only has one holiday lasting two weeks starting July 29. Consumers are projected to save $97.3 million.

DeSantis also wants a “Freedom Summer” — a sales tax holiday on a variety of events and outdoor items lasting for three months from Memorial Day to Labor Day, as lawmakers approved last summer. The House plan only has a “Freedom Month” lasting the whole of July. The break applies to tickets for sports events, movies, state parks, museums, ballets, plays, concerts, fairs, festivals and gym memberships. Supplies for camping, fishing, boating and other activities and items are included as well, but it would last only through July instead of for three summer months, as was the case last year. Consumers are expected to save $90.4 million.

The House plan also omits DeSantis’ plan to permanently cut sales taxes on over-the-counter pet medications. Instead, it includes pet medications and other pet care items in two separate disaster preparedness sales tax holidays on hurricane season items such as generators, batteries, tarps and more. Those holidays would run June 1-14 and Aug. 24-Sept. 6. Shoppers are poised to save $80.6 million.

Another prong of the DeSantis plan eschewed by the House package is a proposal to double the amount small businesses can save when they remit sales taxes. Businesses can currently deduct $30 on the first $1,200 they return to the state in sales taxes. DeSantis wants to boost the deduction to $60, saving businesses $165 million. But that added savings didn’t make it into HB 7073.

One piece of DeSantis’ budget proposal that lawmakers did include is a break of up to $10,000 per business for companies that hire disabled workers, which is expected to save companies $5 million. But the break is only for three years, in contrast to the permanent break DeSantis requested.

Senate Finance and Tax Committee Chair Blaise Ingoglia will release the Senate’s tax package later this week. Each chamber will pass its version ahead of talks to sort out the final bill before the end of the Regular Session, scheduled for March 8.

Gray Rohrer


  • Dont Say FLA

    February 19, 2024 at 9:45 am

    Florida’s lawmakers will roundly ignore Meatball whenever they want. They own the rotund loser. They gave him financial shade, exempting him and his silly campaign from sunshine laws.

    Meatball was dumb enough to accept the shade. Now they own him, and there’s nothing he can do except the thing he’s best at: whining.

    • Mayorkas Impeached

      February 19, 2024 at 12:23 pm

      I knew the regular “howler monkeys” would show up here. Just post a picture of DeSantis and they start yelling. Once again he would win re-election easily for Governor if the election were today. You displaced Democrats need to realize that most people in Florida don’t want to turn this place into New York, Kalifornia, Illinois, etc.

      • Dont Say FLA

        February 19, 2024 at 2:19 pm

        How about you put your money where your mouth is?

        Establish a recall vote as being a thing in a GOP run state, and then have a recall vote.

        Since you’re so certain Ron DeSantis would survive a recall vote like Gavin Newsome did, go ahead with one.

        Prove Rhonda would be re-elected.

        Is Rhonda tough enough to so much as establish a recall vote an option for voters in Florida? NOPE. LOL.

        Newsome survived a recall vote quite handily. Rhonda’s GOP is too chicken to even make the concept of a recall vote available to the voters somehow still living under its thumb.

        But anyhow back on topic, The legislature owns Rhonda. All they have to do is say they’ll tell on what he did in all that shade they gave him.

        Rhonda rendered himself politically impotent, and Florida will be stuck with him for 3 more lame duck years. Unless there’s a recall vote, lol, which somebody around here seems to be baiting everyone to suggest. Bait taken! Recall Rhonda!

        • Mayorkas Impeached

          February 19, 2024 at 3:52 pm

          You want me to run a recall on a Governor that I fully support and a
          majority of the people in this state support? Are you really that naive? If you want a recall it will need to be started by you and your howler monkey friends. Go ahead and do it. I need a good laugh. Newsom deserves to be recalled people and companies are leaving the state, crime is rampant, retail stores are closing up. The place is a mess.

          • JD

            February 19, 2024 at 5:30 pm

            OK. We will. Challenge accepted.

            Your majority isn’t as strong as you think anymore. They went too far and know it, otherwise he wouldn’t be back pedaling on multiple fronts or shored up the legal defense fund in the budget.

            So whether you laugh or not is esoteric.

            Florida is just as much of a mess if not worse because of their antics. And it will get worse because of the guardrails they removed.

          • Newsom Sux

            February 19, 2024 at 9:20 pm

            Okay JD let’s see what you got besides a big mouth typing on a keyboard. People are leaving Kalifornia in record numbers because of high crime, taxes, poor infrastructure and on and on. People are coming to Florida JD. They aren’t fleeing here. I can go into a store and not have to ask the clerk to open the lock cage so I can buy some toiletries. Move to Kalifornia and compare insurance rates, housing costs, crime, etc.

          • JD

            February 19, 2024 at 9:37 pm

            Hey “I Sucked Newsom”, absolutely, because Florida is just the land of milk and honey, untouched by any woes, while California is practically a dystopian wasteland. Who needs those overrated sunsets and tech jobs when you can have the thrill of Florida’s hurricane season, right? And let’s not forget the joy of comparing insurance rates, because that’s the ultimate measure of paradise. Clearly, everyone’s just flocking to Florida for the endless amusement of locking and unlocking toiletry cages.

  • Michael K

    February 19, 2024 at 10:38 am

    Just another pandering gimmick with a cheesy name. More lipstick on the pig.

  • Cheesy Floridian

    February 19, 2024 at 11:23 am

    I don’t think this gets to the root of the problem(s). do better

Comments are closed.


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