DeSantis Says Florida ‘Should be Willing’ to Accept Taxes in Crypto

Sebastian Sinclair
Sebastian Sinclair March 23, 2022
Updated 2022/03/23 at 1:12 PM
4 Min Read
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he is working with state agencies to figure out means for businesses to pay tax in crypto
  • Following his measures proposed in the 2022-23 budget, which failed to pass the legislature, DeSantis said Florida “should be willing to accept” the nascent asset class

Ron DeSantis, Florida’s 46th Governor, said Tuesday his office is working toward allowing businesses to pay taxes using cryptocurrency.

DeSantis, who has been serving as Governor since 2019, said he was taking measures with state agencies to try to figure out ways for businesses to pay tax and that it was something Florida should adopt.

DeSantis was responding to questions from media following his signing of a bill into law requiring financial literacy classes for high school students.

“Clearly something like a bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies — that’s something we should be willing to accept,” he said in relation to tax payments.

It’s not the first time DeSantis has floated the idea of allowing Floridians to utilize crypto as a form of payment at the state level. Last year, DeSantis proposed measures in the 2022-23 budget that sought to enable businesses to pay in crypto for state fees.

He also proposed leveraging blockchain technology for use in pilot programs to govern certain backend functions within the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and Medicaid payments, among other areas.

“I actually had some money in the budget the legislature didn’t pick up to try to do some experiment with blockchain technology on some of the state functions,” DeSantis said Tuesday. The proposed measures failed to pass into law via the Florida Legislature’s 2022 session, which ended on March 14 to bipartisan approval of a $112 billion budget.

Florida possesses a number of high-profile politicians opting for local crypto and blockchain regulation including Miami Mayor Francis Suarez who previously pushed for city residents to receive their paychecks and pay for their property taxes in bitcoin.

Crypto proponents view the city, as well as the state, as forward-looking for the industry often criticized by other policymakers for facilitating money laundering.

The Governor, who has for some time pushed the notion to adopt bitcoin along with Suarez, also noted the difference between cryptos that were decentralized versus that of a centrally issued digital dollar, which he said presents “a lot of hazards” when it’s “centrally controlled.”

“I worry about the amount of power that would give someone — an essential authority — to basically be able to shut off access to purchasing certain goods,” said DeSantis. “We’d be in uncharted territories.”

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