MIAMI – 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 re-election, DeSantis on Wednesday said he will ask the Legislature in 2023 to give frequent SunPass and E-Pass users a 50 percent 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 percent 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. 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.