(The Center Square) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order to extend a suspension of the state’s excise tax on motor fuel sales, which was set to expire next week.
The motor fuel order also applies to locomotive fuel, and the governor also renewed a state of emergency for supply chain disruptions. Both orders run through Sept. 12.
“With 40-year high inflation, gas prices that are still far too high, and supply chains strained under the weight of bad decisions, hardworking residents of the Peach State have been feeling the consequences of [President] Joe Biden’s recession long before it was announced,” Kemp, a Republican, said in an announcement. “As I said when we first suspended the state’s gas tax all the way back in March — and have reiterated each time I have renewed that suspension — we can’t fix everything Washington has broken, but we’re doing our part to combat the economic headwinds caused by the President’s failed policies.”
This week, AAA said the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Georgia averaged $3.77. While the price is 13 cents less than a week ago and 59 cents less than a month ago, it is 81 cents higher than last year.
In mid-March, Kemp signed House Bill 304 to suspend the state’s motor fuel tax through May 31. The governor subsequently extended the moratorium through July 14 and signed the most recent executive order to suspend gas tax collections on July 1.
Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor, chided the governor for not suspending the gas tax until the end of the year.
“Now more than ever, Georgia families are looking for stability as they try to balance their budgets,” Abrams said in a statement. “That is why I have repeatedly called on Brian Kemp to end the cheap political stunts and commit to suspending the gas tax through the end of [the] year.
“Today, Brian Kemp once again refused to provide Georgians with the stability they deserve, and instead is prioritizing politics over committing to a full suspension of the gas tax through the end of the year as I have,” Abrams added.
However, the National Federation of Independent Business applauded the decision.
“This is great news for Georgia’s small businesses,” NFIB State Director Nathan Humphrey said in a statement. “The cost of fuel affects the cost of practically everything, all along the production and distribution chain.
“Our members are relieved to see fuel prices on the decline, but we’re still paying a lot more for a gallon of gas than we did a year ago, and that has a big impact on small businesses,” Humphrey added. “Extending the suspension of the 29.1 cents per gallon state tax on gasoline and the 32.6 cents tax on diesel will reduce the cost of doing business in Georgia and help small businesses and their customers alike.”