The Phoenix Flyer

Frequent commuters in FL to receive first toll discount in February

By: - January 30, 2023 4:07 pm

Toll facilities in Florida. Credit: Florida Department of Transportation

Frequent commuters are expected to see a 50 percent discount in February for using at least 35 toll transactions in a month, Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Monday, offering an update on the new toll initiative that only lasts a year.

“I think people in Central Florida will be benefiting very soon,” DeSantis said during a press conference in Auburndale, in Central Florida’s Polk County. “So, it’s gonna be half a billion dollars in total relief. Basically, anybody that commutes, meaning like you ping it enough times in a month, you get a rebate on your bill for 50 percent off.”

The toll relief package was signed into law by DeSantis in December of 2022, but it is offered only to drivers using transponders with prepaid toll accounts, such as E-Pass and SunPass.

Gov. Ron DeSantis makes remarks about the state’s toll relief program during a press conference on Jan. 30, 2023. Credit: Screenshot/Florida Channel

“We actually did this in December during a special session. So went into effect January 1, so we’re not wasting any time on that,” DeSantis said. “So, Florida commuters are going to start seeing those rebates in the month of February for January’s bills. And so, we’re proud of that.

He added: “And so that’s significant for people because you’re looking at a lot of costs. And not every part of the state has the same amount of tolls. You have some like in Central Florida, it’s a lot of different toll roads. So it’s hard to get around South, [and] Southeast Florida.”

Meanwhile, the governor doubled down on efforts to push for permanent tax exemptions on baby items, such as diapers, cribs, strollers, baby food, clothes for young kids and other products. In 2022, state lawmakers passed a one-year sales tax exemption on baby necessities but now DeSantis is seeking to make it permanent.

The initiative has somewhat received bipartisan support, with state Democrats proposing to expand the permanent tax cuts for not only diapers but incontinence products for seniors and others. For example, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book filed a proposal, SB 114, that would exempt tax imposed for the “use of diapers, incontinence undergarments, incontinence pads, or incontinence liners.”

“We’re also going to do more tax relief and we’ll be unveiling kind of a full package,” DeSantis said.

At the news conference, DeSantis also announced an initiative to expedite transportation projects over the next four years, according to a press release.

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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.