Georgia Gov. Declares Emergency Regarding Gasoline Inflation

( – Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) has halted the state tax on gasoline in an attempt to curb the impact of inflation. Kemp said that he had little choice due to policies coming down from the national government, and blaming President Joe Biden specifically for the high cost of living hitting American families. He signed an executive order halting the tax on Tuesday, September 12th.

Kemp said the move was to deliver “real relief” to Georgian families and will be in effect from September 13th through October 12th. The order voids state taxes on diesel and regular gasoline. There’s a 29.1 cent per gallon state tax on standard gasoline with a 32.6 cent per gallon GA state tax on diesel.

The savings are a little under 10% of the total cost with an average of roughly $3.6/gallon in the state. While they’re providing a minor benefit to Georgians in the form of a modest price reduction, it’s costing the state ~$150 million per month in effect. Danny Kanso, a financial analyst with the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute, said that the state can eat the cost right now due to a $16 billion dollar budget surplus.

The money collected from the tax goes to support infrastructure projects exclusively. The state won’t have a problem maintaining its roads or other transportation programs, but Kanso warned that any funds redirected from the surplus will no longer be available for other things like education, or healthcare programs.

This is the second time Kemp used his executive authority to suspend the gas tax. The last time began in March 2022 and went on for 10 months. Previously Kemp worked with the state legislative body to pass a bill to temporarily void the tax. This time around he’s relying on his powers during a state of emergency in order to legally justify the move. Given the current state of the economy in Georgia and around the country, it’s unlikely anyone will object to the move.

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