Last week, the Seeking Rents newsletter reported that during his first term in office, Governor Ron DeSantis raised taxes on Floridians by $1.5 billion. While he was increasing costs for everyday workers, seniors, and families, he was also giving $5.6 billion dollars in handouts to the corporate donors who line his campaign accounts in order to further his political ambitions. The massive tax increase on consumers was accomplished through SB 50, which the Governor signed in the dead of night, and “also temporarily reduced a tax that businesses pay to fund unemployment benefits for laid-off workers. And it permanently reduced the business rent tax from 5.5 percent to 2 percent. Those changes have so far saved businesses roughly $2.6 billion in lower tax payments,” per Seeking Rents.
These handouts to corporations at the expense of Floridians are even more egregious in light of the fact that only 1% of corporations pay corporate income tax in the state, with one-in-five of the largest corporations paying no income tax at all. At the same time Governor DeSantis was providing billions of dollars in corporate welfare to Florida’s largest businesses, he also signed legislation permanently slashing the state’s affordable housing trust fund in half during a housing crisis.
“Ron DeSantis is all bark and no bite when it comes to standing up to the corporations that fund his presidential aspirations,” said DeSantis Watch Communications Director Anders Croy. “While Floridians’ out of pocket costs have increased due to the Governor, the state’s largest corporations who are bankrolling his campaign are swimming in billions of dollars in handouts that could have been used to improve their lives instead of on corporate welfare. If this Governor spent half as much time addressing the real issues affecting our state instead of doing the bidding of his corporate donors or whining about how mean the media is to him, maybe Floridians could keep a roof over their heads.”