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Gas tax hike delayed
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Forsyth County News

gas prices 6-02-08 js-jd

Local residents and visitors alike said they welcomed any help with prices at the pump, but were not sure how much help delaying a proposed 2.9 cent gas tax hike would provide.

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Gov. Sonny Perdue has suspended a scheduled gas tax increase until at least the end of the year.
The move, which will save motorists 2.9 cents per gallon, comes as the price of gas has risen more than $1 per gallon since March 1. That’s a larger increase than in all of 2007.  
The gas tax hike would have taken effect July 1, bumping the current 11-cent tax to 13.9 cents, a 29 percent increase.
“Georgians are already facing record gas prices and raising taxes even higher would put further strain on families’ budgets and on our economy,” Perdue said in a statement.
“Suspending these tax increases will benefit some of our most important industries, including agriculture, tourism, aviation and logistics, as well as every Georgian that buys gasoline.”
The tax freeze also translates to other fuels, including the per-gallon increase of 4.2 cents for diesel, 3.6 cents for aviation gasoline, and .8 cents for propane and other fuels.
According to AAA Auto Club South estimates, the average price of gas in Georgia is about $3.95 a gallon.
Based on current use, the governor’s measure offers a total savings of about $70 million, over a 1-year period beginning July 1.
That money would otherwise go toward road and infrastructure repairs, which is why AAA is not supporting the governor’s measure.
“Tax dollars … that are earmarked for transportation are needed to maintain highways and road infrastructure,” said Gregg Laskoski, spokesman for AAA. “We cannot advocate suspending those types of tax collections, because it postpones essential repairs and road improvements.”
Bert Brantley, Perdue’s press secretary, said transportation will continue to be funded.
“Because the gas prices are so high, this would be collecting money that we weren’t anticipating,” he said. “You don’t budget based on the taxes going up, because we didn’t know what t hat number would be. So we’ve collected more over the past year, based on current prices.”