Governor extends Georgia gas tax suspension into mid-December

FILE (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Wilfredo Lee, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ATLANTA – Georgia’s governor extended the suspension of the state’s motor fuel tax for yet another month through Dec. 11.

The announcement came Friday with two executive orders from Gov. Brian Kemp, who is running for re-election against Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Kemp signed the orders that extended the temporary suspension of the state motor fuel tax and extended the supply chain state of emergency.

Kemp previously signed a law in March that passed with broad bipartisan support, suspending the state’s gas tax through May 31. Kemp signed additional extensions in May, July, August, September and October.

The tax order also suspends the state sales tax on train locomotive fuel.

Under state law, Kemp can suspend taxes as long as state lawmakers ratify the action the next time they meet.

Georgia’s gasoline price normally includes a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon and a state tax of 29.1 cents per gallon. A number of counties and the city of Atlanta also charge taxes. Federal taxes on diesel fuel are 24.4 cents per gallon, while Georgia’s tax on diesel is 32.6 cents per gallon.

Since the temporary suspension was implemented, Georgia’s average gas price has remained one of the lowest in the nation and is currently the lowest at $3.13 per gallon, according to AAA.

The suspension costs the state more than $150 million a month in tax revenue, with Kemp estimating the amount of forgone tax revenue at $950 million so far. Kemp plans to backfill the money for road building using some of the $6.6 billion in state surplus.

“As another holiday season and a looming diesel shortage approaches, Georgians are still facing record high inflation, growing costs at the grocery store just before Thanksgiving, and high prices at the pump as they prepare to travel to see family, all due to a complete failure of leadership in Washington,” Kemp said in a release. “While we can’t fix everything politicians have broken, our responsible approach to reopening our economy while prioritizing both lives and livelihoods allows us to deliver needed relief by continuing to suspend our state’s gas tax. Alongside our partners in the legislature, we will continue working to ease the burden felt by Georgia’s families who deserve to have safe, warm, and prosperous holidays.”