ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia drivers are likely to start paying higher prices for gasoline and diesel as the state motor fuel tax returns Thursday.
Governor Brian Kemp's rollback of state taxes on gasoline to 31.2 cents per gallon and diesel to 35 cents per gallon expires Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
Republican camp started forgive tax That's when in September he issued a unique legal declaration finding that high prices were an emergency. GeorgiaThe governor can suspend tax collection during an emergency until state lawmakers approve the action at the next meeting. But as the General Assembly begins a special session on Wednesday to discuss legislative and congressional redistricting, Kemp could not advance the tax exemption.
Kemp has asked lawmakers to approve his action in a special session. He may also ask lawmakers to pass a law to increase tax exemptions. But Kemp spokesman Garrison Douglas said Tuesday that the governor has no plans to ask lawmakers to take action. Douglas said it's possible Kemp could issue a new emergency declaration after the special session ends.
Douglas said Kemp was talking to legislative leaders "to determine next steps after this session and before the next session." The next regular session begins January 8. He said one issue will be whether gas prices continue to fall, as they have across the country since Kemp revived the fuel tax rebate in September.
Kemp says tax relief for Georgians helps them deal with inflation whom he blames Democratic President Joe Biden, although most economists say giving more money to consumers generally also increases inflation.
The governor is withholding fuel taxes worth about $180 million per month, at the same time his administration is stressing that overall tax collections are declining, a sign that Georgia's economy may be slowing.
On Tuesday, Georgia drivers were paying an average of $2.79 for a gallon of unleaded gasoline, according to motorist group AAA. This was the third lowest price among the states behind texas and Mississippi, and are down 78 cents since Kemp suspended taxes. The national average of $3.25 is down 59 cents a gallon over that same time.
Pump prices also include federal taxes of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel.
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