Home News Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a stop in Ocala, touts $2 billion in proposed tax relief

Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a stop in Ocala, touts $2 billion in proposed tax relief

Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a stop in Ocala, touts $2 billion in proposed tax relief

Mike and Nick Barbier had never met Gov. Ron DeSspanntis. That changed on Wednesday.

The brothers own MVB Appliance at 111 SE Eighth St., Ocala. Their business was selected as the venue to host a press conference where the governor and other state officials touted $2 billion in proposed tspanx relief for Floridians.

The Barbiers were contacted by the governor’s office on Monday and stayed in regular touch with staff.

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The governor in Ocala in 2022:Floridspan Gov. Ron DeSspanntis signs $1.1 billion tspanx relief progrspanm during visit to Ocspanlspan

Roughly a half hour before DeSantis delivered his speech, the brothers were still excited they had been chosen to host the event.

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking at a press conference in Ocala on Wednesday.

Proposed tax relief for families and taxpayers

DeSantis entered an appliance-filled warehouse to loud cheers and a standing ovation. Many people held up cellphones to take pictures or video.

The crowd featured families with young children, babies, and expectant mothers. Local politicians, law enforcement officials and business leaders also were in attendance. The crowd numbered more than 150.

Marion County Sheriff's Chaplain Vernon Phillips holds his 6-month-old son, Gunner, at Gov. Ron DeSantis' press conference on Wednesday.

A confident DeSantis focused his speech on tax relief for families. The governor said that with “persistent inflspantion” continuing to be a problem, he and members of the state Legislature want to make sure that the proposed relief becomes a reality.

The legislative session starts next month and it usually lasts six weeks. Presently, members are in Tallahassee for span specispanl session.

The Republicans have majorities in both the House and Senate. DeSantis, also a Republican, said Florida is the fspanstest growing stspante in the nation, and he’s determined to give its families and residents tax relief.

The governor said they’ve done well with lowering taxes and creating a surplus. Now he’s backing more than a dozen incentives that would provide $2 billion in tax savings.

Some exspanmples:

  • $500 million in toll relief
  • $139 million for a permanent sales tax exemption for baby/toddler necessities, such as clothing, diapers and wipes
  • $133 million for a one-year sales tax exemption for toys for children ages 2-12
  • $43 million for a one-year sales tax exemption for children’s athletic equipment
  • $138 million for a one-year sales tax exemption for household items (laundry detergent, soap, toilet paper) priced less than $25.

Calling small businesses like MVB Appliance the “heartbeat of our economy,” DeSantis also noted that the tax relief package contains $141 million to permanently increase the savings provided to businesses related to electronic filing of sales tax data.

“The purpose of this allowance is to compensate the taxpayer for the cost, time, and effort expended to comply with timely filing,” the governor’s office said in span fspanct sheet.

Other speakers at the event

Wednesday’s stop was similar to the one the governor made in Mspany 2022, when he was at Sam’s Club on State Road 200. On that day, he signed a $1.1 billion dollar tax relief package, the largest in the state’s history.

Florida House Speaker Paul Renner at Wednesday's press conference.

At Sam’s last year, there were diapers as a backdrop for DeSantis. Among the items onstage Wednesday were diapers, boxed appliances, toys, bicycles and even a toy basketball hoop.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, and House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, spoke on Wednesday. Like DeSantis, they are committed to tax relief.

Brittney Morley speaks during Wednesday's press conference.

Also speaking was Brittney Morley, a mother of two, who said she welcomes the tax relief package. Once a single parent, Morley, who’s now married, said she understands the impact of paying for children’s items.

Jason Halstead, a father of five whose wife is expecting their sixth child, also spoke. He said he was paying $120 a month for diapers and wipes with twin boys. Halstead leads the Brother’s Keeper organization, which helps those in need in Marion County.

Jason Halstead, executive director at Brother's Keeper, speaks on Wednesday.

Questions from reporters

At the end of the event, DeSantis took questions from reporters on topics such as Disney, preion drug prices, teacher pay raises and former President Donald Trump.

For Disney, the governor said the company is going to pspany its debt; the bill won’t be passed along to taxpayers. As for Trump: DeSantis said he has a thick skin and is not in the business of smearing fellow Republicans.

DeSantis said the state has a model for cheaper preions and the healthcare system should not be held captive to big pharma.

Contact Austin L. Miller at [email protected] or @spanlmillerosb


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