Governor again suspends Georgia gas taxes into mid-October

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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's governor is extending the suspension of the state's motor fuel tax through Oct. 12.

Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday signed an executive order extending the suspension for the fourth time.

In extending the suspension, Kemp cited the highest inflation in 40 years, gasoline prices that have fallen from June’s record but remain high, and ongoing supply chain challenges.

“We are using the means available to us to provide much-needed relief to Georgians,” the governor said.

Kemp previously signed a law in March that passed with broad bipartisan support suspending the state’s gas tax through May 31. Kemp signed earlier extensions in May and July.

The order also suspends the state sales tax on train locomotive fuel.

Under state law, Kemp can suspend taxes as long as state lawmakers ratify the action the next time they meet.

Georgia’s gasoline price normally includes a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon and a state tax of 29.1 cents per gallon. A number of counties and the city of Atlanta also charge taxes. Federal taxes on diesel fuel are 24.4 cents per gallon, while Georgia’s tax on diesel is 32.6 cents per gallon.

Kemp's extension comes as gas prices continue to fall from summer highs. According to motorist group AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Georgia was $3.37 on Thursday. That's down about 40 cents in a month. While the national average is now $3.83, Georgia is one of 10 states, mostly in the South, with average gas prices below $3.50 a gallon.

Gas prices in Georgia remain 39 cents a gallon above where they were a year ago.

A gallon of diesel fuel is averaging $4.75 a gallon, down 25 cents in the last month.

The suspension costs the state more than $150 million a month in tax revenue. Kemp is backfilling money for road building using billions in state surplus.

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