State halts scheduled increase in motor fuel tax

The state halted a scheduled increase in the motor fuel tax that was to go effect on July 1.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s office said it would have resulted in a 15 percent increase in the state gas tax.

Deal said Tuesday he signed an executive order suspending the increase to “help cut costs for families and keep us the No. 1 place in the nation for business.”

The Department of Revenue sets the motor fuel tax based on an average of prices, and a rise in prices over the last six months was set to trigger an increase in the motor fuel tax.

Motor fuel taxes are used to fund state transportation projects. However, the Georgia Department of Transportation said that the Governor’s decision would not impact any planned work. That’s because the department plans spending for maintenance and capital improvement projects for the coming year based upon the money received from the prior year’s motor fuel tax collection totals, said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale.