Georgians will continue to see some relief at the pump, but gas prices remain near historic highs.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order Friday, July 1, extending the suspension of the state’s gas tax, which is 29.1 cents per gallon on regular gasoline, through Aug. 13.
"I am committed to fighting to ease the economic burden hardworking Georgians are facing due to disastrous policies from Washington politicians," Kemp wrote in a statement Friday.
This is Kemp’s second time extending the gas tax suspension since it was first put in place on March 18. The first extension was set to expire July 14, but will continue for an additional month after Kemp’s latest executive order.
Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, said extending the suspension during a busy time for travel was the right move.
“Obviously it takes away from the revenue from the state of Georgia,” Hawkins said. “But at this point, the individual is more important.”
The gas tax normally collects about $150 million per month for Georgia transportation and infrastructure projects, according to AP News. But the state had a $1.25 billion surplus in last year’s budget, buoyed by strong sales tax numbers and federal money, which could go toward making up the lost revenue.
Georgia is the state with the lowest average gas price, according to AAA data. At $4.35 per gallon, Georgia is almost 50 cents cheaper than the national average for regular gasoline as of July 1. The average price of gas in Hall County is $4.30 per gallon as of July 1.
But gas prices are still $1.49 higher than this time last year as the war in Ukraine continues to affect energy supply chains.
To fight supply issues abroad, Hawkins said the U.S. should “explore and refine more and drill more (nationally).”
President Joe Biden has called for a 3-month suspension of the federal gas tax, which is 18.4 cents per gallon, but so far Congress has not passed the measure.