ATLANTA — As high as gas prices are right now, they could be worse. In 11 days, Georgia’s gas tax is scheduled to return.
The governor suspended it back in March. If it returns, the tax could add nearly 30 cents a gallon to Georgia’s average, taking it up to at least $4.44 a gallon.
But in an exclusive interview, Gov. Brian Kemp told Channel 2′s Justin Farmer that he’s open to extending that gas tax relief.
Farmer learned it’s not just as simple as the governor saying, “no tax.” It takes some coordination.
“It’s the right thing to do. We’re trying to give Georgians the opportunity to fight through 40-year high inflation because of bad policies in Washington, DC. We’re certainly considering whether we can extend that or not as we speak,” Kemp said.
“So, it sounds like you’re leaning toward extending the suspension governor, is that correct?” Farmer asked Kemp.
“Listen, I certainly want to do that, but we also got to be able to pay for it,” Kemp said.
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Kemp said he’s working with leadership in the statehouse to extend the gas tax relief for Georgians.
According to the Department of Revenue, we’re talking about 30 cents per gallon of gas. In other words, you’d pay about another $3 dollars more for every 10 gallons of gas you buy, if the relief isn’t extended.
Farmer asked the governor if the state can afford to extend the tax relief.
“If you do that, those dollars are coming away from what? It’s a heavy decision because it’s relief for Georgians, but those dollars are not going towards what?” Farmer asked Kemp.
“Well, normally that would be the case, it would be taking dollars away from our transportation and infrastructure money that would go to the Department of Transportation to build roads and bridges,” Kemp said. “Thankfully, because we’ve been open, and because we’ve been resilient, I say we, because I’m talking about Georgia citizens working through the pandemic, we’ve been raking in unbelievable amounts of money.”
Farmer also learned that because Georgia is taking in such large amounts of tax revenue, no Department of Transportation projects will be delayed if the state’s gas tax relief is extended.
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