ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's governor is extending the suspension of the state's motor fuel tax through mid-August.
Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday signed an executive order extending the suspension for a second time. The order also suspends the state sales tax on locomotive fuel.
Kemp previously signed a law in March that passed with broad bipartisan support suspending the state’s gas tax through May 31. At the end of May, he extended that suspension through July 14.
Under state law, Kemp can suspend taxes by executive order as long as state lawmakers ratify the action the next time they meet. Kemp abated gas taxes in 2021 during a pipeline shutdown, and former Gov. Nathan Deal suspended gas taxes multiple times.
In announcing the extension of the suspension, Kemp blamed high gas prices on President Joe Biden.
“I am committed to fighting to ease the economic burden hardworking Georgians are facing due to disastrous policies from Washington politicians,” Kemp said in a news release.
The price of gas has risen dramatically around the world since Russian President Vladimir Putin began amassing troops on the border of Ukraine. Biden last month called for a three-month suspension of federal gasoline and diesel taxes, though the proposal was met by doubts from many lawmakers.
Democrat Stacey Abrams, who's challenging the Republican Kemp in the governor's race in November, said on Twitter Friday that “it's past time for Brian Kemp to commit to suspending the gas tax through the end of the year.”
Georgia’s gasoline price normally includes a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon and a state tax of 29.1 cents per gallon. A number of cities and counties also charge taxes. Federal taxes on diesel fuel are 24.4 cents per gallon, while Georgia’s tax on diesel is 32.6 cents per gallon.