Rising gas prices are one symptom of inflation and the War in Ukraine that’s been hitting American consumers’ wallets hard. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp extended the state’s motor fuel tax break until mid-July. With the national average of a gallon being at $4.91, his Democratic gubernatorial opponent Stacey Abrams is pushing for this break to be extended until the end of the year, as the Atlanta-Journal Constitution notes.
For Abrams, there’s no better time than now to assure some relief for Georgians as prices may not go down for a while.
“The time to do the right thing is well past overdue,” Stacey Abrams said in a statement Tuesday to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Suspend the state gas tax through the end of the year and give hardworking Georgians the stability they deserve.”
An Abrams aide said she would finance the extension of the gas tax break, which amounts to roughly $170 million monthly in tax revenue vital to transportation projects, by dipping into the state’s surplus. Kemp‘s office used budget surplus funds to fill the gap for the first few weeks of the tax break.
A bipartisan mix of lawmakers passed legislation in mid-March to temporarily halt the state sales tax collection until May, saving drivers more than $300 million in taxes. Gov. Kemp extended it until July 14th. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) has proposed to suspend the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax until 2023 as a part of his campaign.
Kemp spokesman Tate Mitchell attempted to hit back at the supposed “hypocrisy” of Abrams’s campaign.
“Abrams took credit for Joe Biden’s win, supports his disastrous policies at every turn, and opposes Governor Kemp’s action to address inflation and the cost of living,” he said.
“She now suddenly backs a proposal which she has no plan to pay for because her campaign just realized what hardworking Georgians have known all along: Georgia can’t afford four years of the Biden-Abrams agenda.”
The House recently passed The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act that would expand the powers of the Federal Trade Commission to investigate alleged price gouging in the industry. It’s doubtful that the bill will get 60 votes to pass in the Senate. Georgia’s gas prices have hit one of their highest points at $4.33 a gallon.