(The Center Square) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has issued an executive order extending a state of emergency and keeping a gas tax suspension in place.
Kemp initially issued an executive order in September and renewed it last month. With the extension, the suspension of the state’s excise tax on motor and locomotive fuel remains until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 29, the day state lawmakers are set to convene for a special session.
In a release announcing the executive order and tax moratorium extension, Kemp, a Republican, credited the state’s “responsible approach to budgeting” and blamed “the disastrous effects of Bidenomics” for making such an order necessary.
“Renewing the gas tax suspension will continue to provide financial relief to Georgians, especially during the upcoming holiday season,” Lt. Governor Burt Jones, a Republican, said in an announcement.
While Georgia’s tax collections have fluctuated recently, the state’s generally rosy economic position has empowered the governor to suspend the taxes.
The governor took similar action last year when he suspended the collection of motor and locomotive fuel starting in March 2022. The tax typically brings in between $160 million and $180 million per month.
“Inflation remains the No. 1 problem facing Georgia’s small businesses,” National Federation of Independent Business State Director Hunter Loggins said in a statement. “Fuel costs affect the price of everything along the production and distribution chain, so suspending the 31.2 cents per gallon state tax on gasoline and 35 cents tax on diesel fuel will immediately reduce the cost of doing business in Georgia and help small businesses and their customers alike.”
In issuing the executive orders, Kemp has cited a Georgia statute giving the governor the power to suspend state motor fuel tax collections during a declared state of emergency, “subject to ratification by the General Assembly at its next meeting.” A spokesman for Kemp previously told The Center Square no General Assembly members “have indicated any opposition to once again ratify the suspension once they return to session.”
When state lawmakers reconvene later this month to redraw congressional and state legislative maps, they are expected also to ratify executive orders suspending the gas tax.