Georgia Governor Declares State Of Emergency To Ease Gas Prices

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has declared a State of Emergency and temporarily suspended the state's gasoline tax, in response to President Joe Biden's policies fueling economic troubles for Georgians.

Kemp believes that hardworking citizens in Georgia need real relief from high fuel prices, so released an executive order that will last from Wednesday to October 12. The suspension of the tax will drop the price of gasoline by approximately 31 cents per gallon, and diesel by 35 cents, though some Georgians are still feeling the impact of the current average of $3.57, a six-cent increase from yesterday and 33 cents more than the same time in 2022.

Kemp previously suspended the gas tax in March of 2022 and extended the suspension to 10 months yet reviews of his current action remain skeptical. Speaking on the matter was Georgia speaker and House of Representatives member Jon Burns who said, “I applaud Governor Kemp’s suspension of motor fuel taxes to keep our people and our economy moving despite Washington’s inaction on rising fuel prices”.

However, such actions may come at a cost. Senior fiscal analyst Danny Kanso of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute claimed that the suspension of the tax could cost the state around $180 million a month, a loss potential victims of if not backfilled from the budget surplus ($16 billion, at present). Such could mean cuts to other programs such as education and healthcare.

The news comes after the average price of a gallon of gas in the US reached $3.83— including a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon and a state tax of 29.1 cents per gallon, as well as further taxes from some individual counties and the city of Atlanta— and a diesel tax of including 24.4 cents per gallon and Georgia's 32.6 cents per gallon.

Whether the suspension of the tax will actually come into effect as proposed, we are yet to see. It will at least take some of the pressure off of drivers, but its not going to miraculously take away the price hikes that have weighed on Georgia families for some time. Thus, Georgians wait and watch to see the real-world effects of the state of emergency.

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