On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proclaimed that the GOP-controlled state legislative body will suspend gas taxes across the state. The purpose of the suspension is to provide upwards of $1B in relief for drivers presently feeling massive pain at the pump as unprecedented inflation continues pushing prices to new highs.
During a speech at Buc-ee’s gas station and convenience store, located in Daytona Beach, DeSantis assailed the “inflationary policies” from Washington, D.C., which are responsible for dramatically increasing the prices consumers pay in advance of the holidays.
“The price of a Thanksgiving dinner is up over 20 percent just [in the past year],” DeSantis remarked.
However, DeSantis notes that the “most dramatic” increase has likely been in terms of gasoline, especially since “it affects most people in their daily lives.”
Per data from the American Automobile Association, the average price per gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline across the state of Florida has increased by more than 10 cents to $3.36 over the past week alone. While $3.36 still teeters below the national average of $3.41, reports from WPLG-TV indicate that $3.36 is the highest price that Florid residents have paid since September 2014.
DeSantis also observed that the current price of gasoline in Florida is stunningly $1.31 more expensive this year relative to the same time period a year ago.
“We think this is a huge problem for working families in Florida,” DeSantis continued.
Acknowledging that increased gas prices affect “everybody,” DeSantis continued onward to note that higher prices are especially difficult for consumers on fixed income or individuals in blue-collar jobs.
DeSantis continued onward to note that the Florida state government could help address Floridians’ pain at the pump by providing immediate relief, chiefly through suspending gas taxes across the state until prices drift back downwards. According to the governor, by suspending the gas tax, a family could save upwards of $200 over the course of five or six months, and the state’s legislature intends to offer this advantage for “as long as [it] can.”
Fortunately, DeSantis has already spoken with numerous businesses across the state, including Race Trac and others, all of which proclaimed that they are “absolutely” willing to lower prices, particularly if in-store traffic might happen to increase as a result.
Furthermore, various surpluses in the state budget have positioned Florida into “great financial shape,” which means that the proposed gas tax will not negatively affect the state’s infrastructure spending plans.
According to AAA Mark Jenkins, drivers will generally not be thankful for “high gas prices … this Thanksgiving.”
“The good news is gas prices should gradually decline through the holiday,” Jenkins continued, observing that futures for gasoline and crude oili have declined in the past week.
“That should restore some downward pressure on prices at the pump,” Jenkins added.
On his part, Joe Biden has accused oil and gas companies of “anti-consumer behavior.” He has also demanded for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to conduct an investigation into whether or not the gas and oil companies had been colluding together to increase prices.
Economists have remarked that higher prices at gas stations across the nation have resulted from the increased demand for gas, which in turn is a direct result of increased demand for travel as pandemic restrictions continue to ease. Moreover, the high cost of gasoline has been exacerbated by supply chain issues, as well as OPEC’s deliberate limitation of the international oil supply while the Biden administration continues to levy restrictions against domestic oil production.