The political team for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing back against a new ad from a super PAC backing former President Trump’s 2024 campaign, insisting the ad’s claim that DeSantis “backed a national sales tax” and a “23% tax hike” during his tenure in Congress is “dishonest” because it leaves out key details.
Launched Friday by MAGA Inc., the leading super PAC aligned with Trump’s candidacy in the 2024 race for the White House, the ad took aim at DeSantis over his support for tax hikes and a national sales tax during his time representing the Sunshine State’s 6th Congressional District in the House from 2013 to 2018.
“In Congress, Ron DeSantis backed a national sales tax, a 23% tax hike on almost everything you buy … from the gas station to the grocery store,” the narrator said in the ad titled “Old DeSantis.”
While true DeSantis supported a bill that proposed introducing a 23% federal sales tax, key details were omitted from the ad. In accordance with the bill’s proposed federal sales tax, all other federal taxes, including the income tax, would have been eliminated if the bill had passed.
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Known as the Fair Tax Act, or HR25, a version of the bill has been introduced in Congress multiple times since 1999. DeSantis co-sponsored the bill in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
“In Congress, the governor supported the concept of a Fair Tax, a plan to lower the overall tax burden on an individual by replacing all federal taxes — including income tax — with a lower tax,” Bryan Griffin, the DeSantis political team press secretary, said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital. “The plan also sought to end the IRS, which, at the time, was being weaponized by the Obama administration. To describe only part of the plan in an attack is dishonest.
“In Florida, Gov. DeSantis cut taxes to help families struggling under Biden’s inflation. In 2022, he signed the largest tax relief package in Florida history (more than $1.2 billion for Florida’s families). And, this year, he exceeded that by securing a record $2.7 billion in tax relief, including a permanent sales tax exemption for baby items, back to school and Fourth of July tax holiday, and $500 million in toll relief,” Griffin added.
“Incidentally, Florida’s favorable tax climate has encouraged a record number of people to move to the Sunshine State, including former President Donald Trump.”
DeSantis faced a similar attack for his support of the bill from Adam Putnam, who served as the 11th commissioner of agriculture of Florida, during the 2018 Florida primary elections. Setting the record straight about Putnam’s 2018 ad, PolitiFact noted that the “idea behind the Fair Tax Act is to introduce a 23% federal sales tax that would replace other federal taxes.”
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“The bill eliminates income, estate, payroll and gift taxes, as well as the Internal Revenue Service itself,” the self-described “nonpartisan fact-checking website” wrote at the time.
Never Back Down, a pro-DeSantis super PAC, took aim at Trump earlier this month for attempting to “steal pages from the establishment playbook to attack Ron DeSantis from the left” and included several taped instances where Trump “repeatedly” offered support for the Fair Tax during his run for president.
In a 2019 tweet, Trump announced that he and his family would be making Palm Beach, Florida, their permanent residence due to the treatment he received from city and state leaders in New York.
“1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, is the place I have come to love and will stay for, hopefully, another 5 years as we MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, but my family and I will be making Palm Beach, Florida, our Permanent Residence,” Trump wrote.
“I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state. Few have been treated worse.
“I hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned.”
DeSantis, who has served as Florida’s governor since January 2019, is expected to officially enter the 2024 race for the White House next week.
The popular two-term conservative governor will file formal paperwork with the Federal Election Commission next week to declare his candidacy for president, sources familiar with the governor’s decision confirmed to Fox News. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The filing by DeSantis will coincide with his meeting next week in Miami, Florida, with top financial backers, one source told Fox Digital. By law, DeSantis cannot receive or ask for contributions for a presidential campaign unless he has formally declared his candidacy.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this article.
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