Gov. DeSantis’ insurance cut back on track as House adds to tax package
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Dollar money bag, ohurglass and a shopping cart on white backgro
'This was a way we thought we could bridge the gap until we start seeing the relief that we are expecting.'

With three weeks left in the Legislative Session, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to reduce insurance premiums for homeowners is back in play.

A reduction of insurance premium taxes and flood premium taxes was left out when the House unveiled its tax cut plan (HB 7073). But the House Appropriations Committee has now inserted an amendment adding the proposal to the bill.

The plan would reduce premium taxes by 1.75% on homesteaded properties, while requiring insurers to pass on those savings to consumers to get the credit on their tax liability. It would apply to policies enacted or renewed after Oct. 1, and the break would last for one year.

House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell of Tampa said she supported the amendment but wanted to give more of a break to homeowners. She noted the break would save homeowners $17.50 for every $1,000 they pay in premiums. State economists haven’t scored the House plan, but a similar Senate proposal would save $363.2 million in total over two years.

“When you aggregate all those savings up as a tax credit it’s great for the insurance companies but it’s not as great as we need it to be for the homeowners” Driskell said.

Driskell was one of four Democrats who voted against the underlying bill.

Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican and sponsor of the bill, defended it as beneficial to both businesses and the average citizen.

“I do believe that it’s a good balanced approach between consumers and businesses,” McClain said.

The Senate’s version of the tax cut package (SB 7074) also includes the insurance tax cut. It would apply to homes covered at up to $750,000 and cover flood policies, and eliminate assessments for the Florida Insurance Guarantee Association.

Bill sponsor Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, a Spring Hill Republican, said it would save qualified homeowners 3.5% on average in their premiums. He argued that while those savings — $35 for every $1,000 in premiums — may be small, they will help homeowners until the market settles and premiums flatten out, in response to the litigation-squelching changes approved by lawmakers in the last two years.

“This was a way we thought we could bridge the gap until we start seeing the relief that we are expecting,” Ingoglia told reporters.

Rates, though, have continued to rise for many homeowners. An Allstate subsidiary, Castle Key, will ask state regulators on Wednesday for a 53.5% statewide average increase for condominium policies.

The overall Senate plan is a $900 million cut. It passed unanimously through the Senate Finance and Tax Committee Tuesday.

House and Senate leaders will have to iron out the differences between the bills in the final three weeks of the Regular Session.

One of the major differences is a reduction in the business rent tax, which is paid on a sales tax on leases and is set to fall to 2% in August. The House bill would cut the rate to 1.25% starting July 1. State economists project the move to save businesses $308.6 million, a reduction from the previous estimate of nearly $340 million. The Senate bill doesn’t include the business rent tax reduction.

Another major difference is a plan to boost the allowance for businesses remitting sales taxes to the state from $30 to $45, saving businesses $47.3 million next year. The provision is in the Senate plan but not in the House plan.

There is also a clash over how to approach tourist development taxes. The House wants to phase out the existing authority to collect tourist development taxes on hotel and motel stays, which fund local tourism marketing, overseen by local governments. The provision would require voters to reapprove tourist development taxes every six years, starting in 2029.

The Senate plan doesn’t include that provision, but would require a Tourist Development Council to get a supermajority vote before spending more than 25% of its revenue on a single project.

There are areas of agreement, though, especially regarding a slate of familiar sales tax holidays.

The Senate plan matches the House bill in setting up a “Freedom Month,” with sales taxes exempted for event tickets to museums, sporting events, plays, festivals, fairs and more, as well as outdoor items. It will last all of July, but that’s a reduction from the “Freedom Summer” sales tax holiday last year that lasted three summer months.

A two-week holiday on back-to-school items starting July 29 is part of both bills, as is a one-week holiday on tools starting Sept. 1. There’s also two separate two-week sales tax holidays for disaster preparedness items, starting June 1 and August 24.

Gray Rohrer


  • florida is Breaking Bad not set in a dry area

    February 20, 2024 at 6:47 pm

    The string quartet on the Titanic….

    • Tony Diaz

      February 21, 2024 at 2:54 pm

      Hahahha yep. A bowtie on a pig or a band aid on cancer also would have been accurate.

  • Elmo

    February 20, 2024 at 9:41 pm

    Oh boy, he throws homesteaded property owners a few pennies as he continues to hand out $1,000 bonuses to first responders year after year. He’s a joke.

  • Chris Rufo, simp incel

    February 21, 2024 at 6:22 am

    Ron DeSantis ally Chris Rufo has close ties with ‘dissident right’ magazine
    Relationship with IM-1776 that praises dictators, racist ideologues and attacks liberal democracy is collaborative and supportive

    Wed 21 Feb 2024 06.00 EST
    Chris Rufo, a rightwing culture-war celebrity and close Ron DeSantis ally, has maintained a close relationship with IM-1776, a “dissident right” magazine that regularly showers praise on dictators and authoritarians, puffs racist ideologues, and attacks liberal democracy.

    The outlet’s editors and writers – many of them so-called “anons” working under pseudonyms – have variously advocated for the repeal of the Civil Rights Act; celebrated figures such as the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and the proto-fascist Italian nationalist Gabriele D’Annunzio; and advanced conspiracy theories about the Covid pandemic, and what they term the “regime”, a leftist power structure that they imagine unites the state, large corporations, universities and the media.

    • Tom

      February 21, 2024 at 7:55 am

      I couldn’t resist taking a look and I found it a little encouraging – seems like even conservatives have come around to realizing what a moron trump is.
      “In other words, can the eggheads of the conservative movement clean up the mess that is MAGA? Or is that just another intellectual fantasy? After all, as we often say on Know Your Enemy: “MAGA is the mess.””

  • Mayorkas Impeached

    February 21, 2024 at 7:54 am

    The howlers are up early today. Post a picture of DeSantis and out they come.

    • Tom

      February 21, 2024 at 8:04 am

      You certainly enjoy your identity politics don’t you? I can’t stand desantis but I respect your right to like him / vote for him / whatever but you have nothing so you just insult anyone who doesn’t agree with you. I’ve never done social media but I imagine this is what it’s like.

      • Mayorkas Impeached

        February 21, 2024 at 8:44 am

        You say nothing but negative comments about SeSantis. That is fair. When someone takes issue with the constant negativity about DeSantis then they have nothing to say. Got it. I don’t do social media either but it is fun toying with you sensitive lefty’s.

  • Richard Holmes

    February 21, 2024 at 1:00 pm

    $17.50 savings on every $1000 spent, is this a joke? What a big waste of time and energy. This does nothing useful for homeowners as they can save more than that by lowering coverages or raising deductibles. This is for show, not for actual change. Embarssing to say the least.

Comments are closed.


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