Much of the benefit that Floridians reap from Governor Ron DeSantis‘ gas tax holiday going into effect this month is being negated as prices at the pumps rose for the third consecutive week.
DeSantis signed a bill in May that temporarily eliminated the state’s gas tax starting in October. Relief at the pump was short-lived as recent global events such as the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day have sent gas prices back up nationwide.
The gas tax holiday suspends the state’s 25-cent per gallon tax through the end of the month. The tax funds statewide road projects, and any lost revenue will be replaced with $200 million in federal stimulus money. Florida’s state gas tax is accompanied by an 18-cent federal tax per gallon that is still in place.
AAA reported that in the week since OPEC’s decision, gas prices have risen nearly 10 cents per gallon above the price Floridians paid before the production cut. In some areas of Florida, the price jumped nearly 30 cents per gallon. The leap negates much of the savings Floridians pocketed thanks to DeSantis’ gas tax holiday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, tweeted Monday that gas prices have increased for the third straight week. He said the near future doesn’t look any brighter.
“With OPEC+ deciding to cut oil production by two million barrels a day, we’ve seen oil prices surge 20%, which is the primary factor in the national average rising for the third straight week,” De Haan said in a press release. “Some of the refinery snags that have caused prices to surge in the West and Great Lakes appear to be improving, with prices in those two regions likely to inch down, even with OPEC’s decision, as the drop in wholesale prices has offset the rise due to the production cut.
“But where gas prices didn’t jump because of refinery issues, they will rise a total of 10-30 cents due to oil’s rise, and some areas are certainly seeing the jump already. For now, I don’t expect much improvement in prices for most of the country, with California and the Great Lakes as the exception, with downdrafts likely in the days and weeks ahead.”
Florida ranked roughly in the middle of the pack in an AAA analysis showing each state’s percentage change from the previous week. Florida’s prices rose 3.3 percent, while Delaware, the most impacted state, saw an increase of more than 7 percent.
It is not known if DeSantis will extend the holiday past October. DeSantis told WBBH in Southwest Florida that he would like to extend the holiday and asked for a period longer than one month when the legislation went through earlier this year.
“We’ll see what we can do,” he said.
Newsweek reached out to DeSantis’ office and GasBuddy for further comment.
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