ATLANTA — It has been nearly a year since Georgia Governor Brian Kemp first suspended the statewide gas tax. At midnight on Tuesday, it is set to go back into effect.
The Georgia Legislature passed a bipartisan bill to suspend the gas tax in March 2022, and the governor subsequently signed it.
The initial suspension lasted through May and cost the state between $300 million and $400 million in revenue.
Removing the state tax saved Georgians about 30 cents per gallon for gas and 33 cents for diesel.
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Georgia drivers have enjoyed lowest-in-the-nation gas prices during much of the time the gas tax was suspended. Fuel experts expect Georgia gas prices to still remain among the country’s cheapest. However, gas prices everywhere are rising.
“The wholesale price of gasoline is also up eights cents a gallon as is the price of oil so you may see gas prices going up by more than the 31 cent a gallon tax hike because gas prices move because of more than just one reason,” said Patrick De Haan with GasBuddy.
However, not all gas stations will have to raise their prices at the same time.
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“As long as those stations bought gas before Wednesday it will not have been taxed,” said De Haan, “and that may mean the prices may not be as abrupt or as significant as they otherwise would be.”
Georgia collects an estimated $2 billion a year from the gas tax, and that money goes toward state and local roads. A state surplus has helped fund infrastructure.
“It’s essential,” said Danny Kanso, Director of Legislative Strategy and Senior Fiscal Analyst at Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. “It’s really a user fee where folks who are directly on the roadways are helping to contribute to their maintenance and make sure we have an infrastructure that can support our state.”
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