‘This is just the beginning’: DeSantis signs into law 1-year toll discount program, vows to do more

By: - December 15, 2022 1:53 pm

Florida toll road. Credit: Wikimedia photo

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed into law a new toll discount initiative for frequent commuters, but it will only last a year, from Jan. 1. to Dec. 31, 2023.

“This is one thing we are going to do. But we are going to do much more in terms of tax relief for people throughout the state of Florida,” DeSantis said, while a crowd of people cheered. “This is just the beginning. And we are going to be doing a lot more in the ensuing weeks and months.”

He added: “So, stay tuned on that. We are gonna be able to, in the spring, come back and sign really significant tax relief legislation across a wide variety of things,” DeSantis said.

During a press conference in Fort Lauderdale, DeSantis was joined by House Speaker Paul Renner and others in the bill signing ceremony for SB 6-A.

The year-long toll relief program was offered only to those with prepaid toll accounts, such as E-Pass and SunPass.

The program will offer a 50 percent discount on tolls if they have 35 or more toll transactions per month. The governor’s office emailed a map featuring toll facilities part of the program across the state.

It says: “The Toll Relief Program will save Florida electronic customers money!”

That said, the program does not include all Floridians in the toll initiative, in part because some drivers do not have a transponder in their vehicles. The transponder is an electronic device attached to a vehicle to recognize tolls and authorize withdrawals from a prepaid account.

At the press event, DeSantis signaled that he would sign more legislation from the special session tomorrow. The Legislature also passed bills on property insurance reforms and disaster relief programs for those affected by devastating hurricanes in Florida.

“So that was the proposal and we wanted to do it. We actually had the election of course in November, bring in the Legislature for special session to do a number of different things and I’m gonna sign some of the other stuff they did tomorrow,” DeSantis said.

“But we said with the tolls, I said, ‘look, why would we wait until the regular session.’ And then you end up having it going into effect in July when they need the relief now. So, let’s do it for this whole calendar year, starting January 1.”

He also mentioned that participants in the toll relief program would automatically receive a rebate from the state the following month.

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Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan

Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.