Florida toll breaks 'not an April Fool's joke'

A year-long program that will give bill credits to frequent toll-road users began Monday after getting approval last month from state lawmakers. 

"This is not an April Fool's joke," Gov. Ron DeSantis said during an appearance at the Greater Miami Expressway Agency. "You are getting toll relief in the state of Florida for all of our commuters." 

As lawmakers last month completed talks on a new state budget (HB 5001) and a separate tax relief package (HB 7073), DeSantis’ office called for reviving a toll-credit program that had provided breaks to motorists in 2023. The program, expected to cost about $450 million, will provide 50 percent credits to motorists with SunPass or other Florida transponders who make 35 or more monthly toll-road trips. 

DeSantis said the credits will start to appear on May bills. During Monday’s appearance, DeSantis also announced construction moving forward on the $150 million Golden Glades highway project in Miami-Dade County. DeSantis and the state Cabinet approved bond sales last Tuesday, including assisting the Golden Glades work, which is part of a transportation initiative called Moving Florida Forward. 

"It’s not going to be done by next month, but you know, it's going to be done earlier than it would have been had we not done Moving Florida Forward," DeSantis said. 

The Golden Glades work is expected to link Florida’s Turnpike with Interstate 95, the Palmetto Expressway, State Road 9, and State Road 7. Introduced by DeSantis in January 2023, Moving Florida Forward is a $7 billion, four-year plan designed to advance a series of transportation projects across the state.