Deal halts increase in Georgia gas tax

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that he will stop an increase in the motor fuel tax scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

The average price of a gallon of gas increased to $3.66 from $3.21 since January and would have resulted in a 15 percent increase in the state gas tax.

“We’re seeing a steady rebound in Georgia’s economy, with our unemployment rate going down and state revenues heading up, but Georgians are still paying gas prices that are high by historical standards,” Deal said in statement. “To remove this financial burden on Georgia taxpayers and businesses, I signed an executive order suspending the motor fuel tax increase set for next month. This will help cut costs for families and keep us the No. 1 place in the nation for business.”

Every six months, at the start of January and July, the Department of Revenue sets the motor fuel tax based on an average of prices. A recent rise in gas prices called for an increase in the motor fuel tax. Major fluctuations in gas prices can also trigger an increase or decrease within those six month periods, but this increase was part of the regular six-month schedule set in law.

The governor has the power to suspend collection of a tax until the next meeting of the General Assembly, which must ratify the suspension.

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