In a move that is sure to bring relief to Georgia drivers, Governor Brian Kemp has announced an extension of the suspension of state taxes on gasoline and diesel for an additional month. Originally set to expire next week, this tax rollback will now remain in effect through November 11th, with rates set at 31.2 cents per gallon for gasoline and 35 cents per gallon for diesel.
Governor Kemp's decision to extend this measure is not without precedent. During his 2022 reelection campaign, Kemp signed a law suspending the gas tax, a move that garnered support from both sides of the political aisle. Since then, he has signed seven extensions, resulting in an estimated revenue loss of $1.7 billion from March 2022 to January 2023.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp continues rollback of state gas and diesel taxes for another month https://t.co/0N27Cns1ro
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) October 6, 2023
Kemp, a staunch advocate for economic policies, contends that this tax relief is a response to inflationary pressures faced by Georgians. However, it's worth noting that some economists argue that putting more money into consumers' pockets can contribute to increased inflation. Nevertheless, Kemp remains committed to his promise of providing financial relief to Georgia families and is working closely with the General Assembly to achieve this goal.
Critics may raise questions about the financial sustainability of such a measure, but Georgia seems undeterred. The state's rainy day fund is fully funded, and there is an additional surplus of around $10 billion in state accounts. Furthermore, it is anticipated that Georgia will continue to run a multibillion-dollar surplus this year, further strengthening its capacity to compensate for the lost tax revenue.
From the perspective of individual drivers, the impact of this tax suspension on their wallets has been palpable. As of Thursday, Georgia drivers were paying an average of $3.20 per gallon for unleaded gasoline, marking the lowest price among all states. This reflects a decrease of 37 cents since Kemp initiated the tax suspension. In comparison, the national average price per gallon stands at $3.77, showing a 7-cent decrease during the same period.
It's important to note that pump prices also include a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel. Therefore, with Governor Kemp's tax suspension coinciding with a reduction in the federal tax, Georgians are experiencing some welcome financial relief at the gas pump. Cheers to that!