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Governor to Call Special Session to Seek Approval for Additional Hurricane Ian Relief

 A flooded Gulfshore Boulevard in Naples on September 28
City of Naples
A flooded Gulfshore Boulevard in Naples on September 28

Florida - Thursday October 20, 2022: Governor DeSantis Thursday announced that he will call another Special Session to provide property tax forgiveness to those who lost their homes and businesses to Hurricane Ian as well as to consider further measures to relive the home insurance crisis in the state.

The Governor said he has signed an Executive Order to extend deadlines for payment of property taxes in Okeechobee County and the 25 other counties in the state that FEMA has designated as eligible for disaster relief.

"This includes real property, personal homes, commercial businesses that were destroyed or otherwise rendered uninhabitable," he said. "So, this will be the 26 counties that have been approved for individual assistance.”

READ Executive Order 22-242 HERE

The Counties included in the Governor's Executive Order are: Okeechobee, Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia.

The next step said the Governor will be to call a Special Session and seek legislative approval to make that relief permanent.

"I do not have the ability as Governor to eliminate property tax obligations. So, because this is going to be necessary we are going to have the legislature come back for a Special Legislative Session and I’ve already spoke with incoming President of the Florida Senate Kathleen Passidomo as well as the incoming House Speaker Paul Renner and they are eager to come back to make this relief permanent.”

In addition, the Governor said he will ask lawmakers to address the home insurance crisis.

“We also got agreement from both leaders to do additional things for home owners’ insurance. I think we will be able to do that in this Special Session and I think both of those leaders are very ready willing and able to get this on a stable footing. You know it costs way more to replace a roof today than it did just three years ago. So, we need to do everything we can to push back on that and fight for a more competitive market where rates are incentivized to go down.”

No date has been set yet for the Special Session but the Governor said it would take place after the November election and before the end of this year.