ATLANTA (AP) – The governor of Georgia is extending the suspension of the state fuel tax until mid-August.
Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday signed an executive order extending the suspension for a second time. The regulation also suspends the state sales tax on locomotive fuel.
Kemp had previously signed legislation in March, which passed with broad bipartisan support, suspending the state gas tax until May 31. At the end of May, he extended this suspension until July 14.
Under state law, Kemp can suspend taxes by executive order so long as state legislatures ratify the measure at their next meeting. Kemp cut 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 President Joe Biden for high gas prices.
“I am committed to fighting to ease the economic burden that hard-working Georgians face as a result of the disastrous policies of Washington politicians,” Kemp said in a press release.
Gas prices have risen dramatically around the world since Russian President Vladimir Putin began rallying troops on the border with Ukraine. Biden last month called for a three-month suspension of federal gasoline and diesel taxes, though the proposal has been contested by many lawmakers.
Democrat Stacey Abrams, who is challenging Republican Kemp in the November gubernatorial race, said on Twitter on Friday that “it’s high time for Brian Kemp to commit to suspending the gas tax by the end of the year.”
Gasoline prices in Georgia typically include 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 levy taxes. The federal tax on diesel fuel is 24.4 cents per gallon, while the Georgian diesel tax is 32.6 cents per gallon.