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DeSantis says he’ll ask Legislature to expand toll road discounts next year

DeSantis, who is campaigning for reelection, said the money would come from surplus funds.
Traffic streams southbound over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg.
Traffic streams southbound over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in St. Petersburg. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Sep. 7

After establishing a six-month program to save certain commuters about $10 a month on tolls, Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to expand the program next year.

As he campaigns for reelection, DeSantis on Wednesday said he will ask the Legislature in 2023 to give frequent SunPass and E-Pass users a 50% monthly credit for a full year.

“We’re very fortunate that when you lead the nation in tourism, you know those folks pay taxes and that’s part of the reason we can have such a low tax burden statewide and do a lot of this,” DeSantis said while at the Florida Department of Transportation District 6 headquarters in Miami.

DeSantis said the proposal could affect about 750,000 Floridians who frequently commute and save an average commuter about $550 a year.

Lost transportation funding would be made up by tapping a surplus of state general revenue.

The six-month program went into effect Sept. 1. It offers discounts of 20% to 25% for trips on many toll roads involving cars, SUVs and pickup trucks when the motorists are in good standing with their SunPass or other Florida transponder accounts.

Related: Frequent users of Florida toll roads to get discounts, DeSantis says

Discounts start to be calculated when motorists hit 40 toll transactions in a month.

The program, which is expected to cut state toll collections by $38 million, does not include roads that are part of the Miami-Dade and Central Florida expressway authorities.

DeSantis said he hopes to expand the toll roads where motorists would be eligible for discounts.

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