Image of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis "Ron DeSantis" by Gage Skidmore on Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0:

Florida has been the most taxpayer friendly state in the nation, and the key to keeping that crown is controlling spending.  With the newly-signed state budget keeping overall spending at the same level as last year, and state spending actually declining, Florida is taking spending restraint seriously.

Governor DeSantis made this success possible by trimming $1billion in government spending through 86 spending item vetoes, signing off on the state’s FY25 budget on June 12.

The legislature also rejected automatic cost of living increases for government employees, which would have increased expected spending levels for the state and local governments.

Very rarely, outside of economic crises, do states lower outlays. This is a significant victory and great example for other states to follow.

Additionally, the budget maintains Gov. DeSantis’s efforts to reduce the overall debt of Florida. Since taking office in 2019, Gov. DeSantis has reduced the state debt by $6.3 billion or 36% of the state’s tax supported debt.

Gov. DeSantis summarized the budget, saying, “We’re making big investments in our future while spending less of our taxpayer’s money to maintain our state’s strong financial standing and robust economy.” Republican policy makers and Gov. DeSantis deserve to be applauded for their sound fiscal policy. 

After so many conservative policy victories, the no-income-tax state has been the fastest growing state in the nation in recent years. While some spending growth is expected in this case, keeping recurring costs under control and not committing to new unnecessary spending will prove very important for protecting Florida taxpayers from tax hikes. As ATR’s Sustainable Budget Project shows, Florida spending has exceeded the rate of population growth plus inflation, highlighting the importance of this year’s budgetary restraint.