Deal freezes Georgia gas taxATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal has frozen Georgia's gas tax, preventing an increase that would have kicked in July 1.
Deal signed an executive order freezing the gas tax at current levels, saving motorists nearly one cent from the next six months. Deal signed the order Friday.
The state gas tax had been set to rise .8 cents on July 1, as a result of a formula tied to fuel prices.
Deal said the state's economy has slowly improved with growing revenue and the unemployment rate decreasing. Deal says taxpayers in the state should not have to take on the "burden" of a gas tax right now.
Every six months, the Department of Revenue analyzes the previous half year's gas price and adjusts the state tax either up or down.
The current tax rate will stay the same through the end of the year with one exception. If the price of gas goes up or down by more than 25 percent within that six-month period, state and local gas taxes automatically are recalculated to reflect the new price.
Alan Essig, executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, believes Deal's decision was not a wise move. He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the move does not make "budgetary or economic sense."
"Having that kind of cut to transportation funding seems problematic," said Essig, a former state tax analyst. "The idea that consumers are going to see the positive impact is questionable."