Jul 1, 2022 - News

Kemp extends gas tax suspension through mid-August

Gas pump
Filling up in Kennesaw, Ga. Photo: Mike Stewart/AP

Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday renewed Georgia's gas tax suspension through August 13 to continue tamping down record-high gas prices.

Driving the news: Kemp pushed for a law to suspend the gas tax in March and renewed it in May. But he has faced pressure to continue the relief even further from his November opponent Stacey Abrams.

Why it matters: Georgia's average gas price hit an all time high last month, but has ticked slightly down since. Following the gas tax suspension, it has remained well below the national average.

By the numbers: In May, the state went without nearly $170 million in motor fuel tax revenue compared to May 2021 because of the suspension.

The intrigue: Also on Friday, Abrams launched an ad campaign on thousands of gas pump screens in the state, touting her pledge to suspend the gas tax through the end of the year.

  • A spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia, Max Flugrath accused Kemp in a statement of using the tax "as a tool for his re-election campaign, suspending it for just weeks at a time — if he was serious about helping hardworking families save at the pump, he’d commit to suspending it through the end of the year, like Stacey Abrams has called for."

State of play: Kemp, in his release, slammed the Biden administration for not "doing their part to tackle this issue," in a release. Biden did, last month, ask Congress to pass a three-month federal gas tax suspension. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) first proposed that idea in February.

Of note: Kemp also opted to suspend the state's locomotive fuel tax, "to help fight rising costs that are being passed on to consumers." CSX and Norfolk Southern estimate they have been spending $25,000 and $17,000 per day on the tax, respectively.

Editor's note: This story was updated with a comment from the Democratic Party of Georgia.

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