OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
6:00 PM – Wednesday, September 13, 2023
On Tuesday, Governor Brian Kemp announced a temporary suspension on Georgia’s gasoline tax and declared a state of emergency in an effort to reduce inflation.
The executive order will reportedly eliminate gas and diesel taxes in the Peach State and will go into effect on Wednesday, September 13th, remaining until October 12th.
Kemp (R-Ga.) stated that his actions were in response to policies rising at the federal level, expressing President Joe Biden has forced Georgians to feel the impact of negative economic conditions.
“From runaway federal spending to policies that hamstring domestic energy production, all Bidenomics has done is take more money out of the pockets of the middle class,” Kemp stated in a press release.
“While high prices continue to hit family budgets, hardworking Georgians deserve real relief and that’s why I signed an executive order today to deliver it directly to them at the pump. Working with partners in the General Assembly, we’ll continue to help Georgians weather the economic headwinds caused by this president, his administration, and their allies in Congress,” Kemp added.
Ultimately, this would be the second time in two years that Kemp has suspended taxes on fuel.
He previously suspended Georgia’s gas tax in March 2022, prolonging the suspension for ten months.
Danny Kanso, a senior fiscal analyst and director of legislative strategy at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, declared that the gas tax suspension could have the potential to save money for Georgia drivers.
However, it could also cost the state as much as $180 million per month.
“A good chunk of that will go to consumers,” explained Kanso “It almost certainly will reduce state tax collections by about that amount per month. Right now the state has about $16 billion cash on hand.”
Due to a budget surplus, Georgia can soak up the hit from the lost revenue. Therefore, the state can utilize lost revenue from gas taxes and replace it with money from the surplus.
Yet, Kanso also warned that this could come at a cost to other programs.
“And that means less money available for things like education, healthcare, core functions of government that make up most of what the state does,” Kanso said. “It could go to a long-term investment like a school bus, or it could go to a short-term suspension of the gas tax.”
The gas tax is arranged specifically for infrastructure, including roads and transportation.
A federal tax of 18.4 cents and a state tax of 29.1 cents are typically included in the price of gasoline in Georgia. Additionally, the city of Atlanta’s government as well as several counties still charge taxes.
Georgia has a diesel fuel tax of 32.6 cents per gallon, compared to the federal rate of 24.4 cents per gallon.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average price of a gallon of gas in Georgia on Tuesday was $3.57, which is six cents more than on Monday and about 33 cents more than in 2022.
However, the Peach State’s fuel prices still remain lower than the national average of $3.83 for a gallon of regular unleaded gas.
“I applaud Governor Kemp’s suspension of motor fuel taxes to keep our people and our economy moving despite Washington’s inaction on rising fuel prices,” said Georgia Speaker of the House Jon Burns.
“Georgia’s success story is no accident – it is the result of conservative policies enacted to keep Georgia the nation’s best state for business,” Burns maintained.
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