Alert for metro drivers: Georgia’s gas tax is back

After 10 months, metro Atlanta and Georgia drivers are in for a bit of “sticker shock” at the pump. The state’s gas tax is back, as of Tuesday at midnight (into Wednesday).

A tax of 30 cents a gallon for gasoline; 33 cents for diesel will be restored.

In the face of inflationary pressures, the Georgia Legislature last March passed a bipartisan bill to suspend the gas tax, which is dedicated to state road and bridge construction projects. Soon after, the state lawmakers’ measure was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp.

The initial tax suspension lasted through May, but Kemp signed successive orders to extend it through the rest of 2022 into January 2023.

The sidelined tax cost Georgia roughly $150 to $170 million a month but served as welcome savings for drivers.

Now, with the state motor fuels tax restored, what to expect? “As people restock their supplies of gas, the price of gasoline is going to bounce around anyway, so it’s not going to be at every gas station (Wednesday) that you’re going to see that 30-cent change,” Ray Hill, senior lecturer of finance and economics at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, tells WSB Radio.

But Hill says as the month of January goes along, stations’ pump prices will fully reflect the restored tax.

At the time of the original gas tax suspension last March, Georgia drivers were paying more than $4.00 a gallon. As of Tuesday, AAA showed an average for regular unleaded of $2.81. The national average stands at $3.27.

“That’s what people have to remember, we’ll still be paying a lot less for gas than we were a year ago,” says Hill.

“This is going to bite a little bit in consumers’ pocketbooks, but I don’t expect it to have any significant effect on the Georgia economy.”





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