Floridians Need Relief at the Pump Now but It Might Not Come Until Right Before Elections

Florida - Gas price - DeSantis

Image via AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, file

By Mivette Vega

March 10, 2022

Floridians are seeing a new record high in gas prices after jumping another 13 cents overnight, but state lawmakers are talking about waiting until October to provide gas relief.

Qué bueno sería una ayudita con los gastos de la gasolina, ¿verdad? Unfortunately, relief isn’t expected in the near future—even after Florida lawmakers agreed Wednesday night to use $200 million in federal coronavirus relief money to give a gas tax break.

On Thursday, Floridians saw a new record high after gas prices jumped another 13 cents overnight, for a new all-time high price of $4.34 per gallon, which is slightly higher than the national average of $4.31.

Because of the skyrocketing gas prices across the US, an increasing number of governors and state lawmakers are calling for the suspension of gas taxes to provide relief to drivers. Florida lawmakers agreed to lift the state’s gasoline tax, but not until October, right before the midterm elections when DeSantis will be running for reelection.

DeSantis has pushed for suspending the state’s 25-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax for five months starting on July 1, when the next fiscal year begins. He proposed using Biden’s stimulus money to make up for revenue lost during the five-month period, but Florida budget negotiators didn’t support the idea, because they said tourists would benefit more from it than residents.

The budget negotiators said October was chosen because Florida has fewer tourists then, and the break can be targeted more toward state motorists.

Since the state budget work wasn’t finalized last Tuesday, the Florida legislative session will have to go into overtime on Monday.





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