The average price of a gallon of regular fuel in metro Atlanta on Thursday was $4.28, higher than the crest reached in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to GasBuddy, a fuel-tracking service.
State Sen. Michael Rhett, D-Marietta, told fellow senators he filled up his vehicle Thursday morning and it cost about $100. State Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, said his son spent $165 to fill up his diesel truck.
The price of crude oil has dropped, but that hasn’t yet been reflected at the pump.
“Hopefully this will bring some much-needed relief,” said Sen. Jen Jordan, D-Atlanta. “My concern is whether the relief is actually going to get to the consumers.”
Hufstetler said the state will be watching closely to make sure gas stations pass the tax cut along to consumers. He said they could be fined $15,000 for price gouging if they don’t.
It won’t be felt immediately throughout the state since stores will be selling gas they received prior to the suspension and paid taxes on. Lawmakers said it would take some time for the untaxed gas to make its way into the pipeline.
Politicians in both parties have staked their positions to suspend gas taxes at both the state and federal level.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who, like Kemp, is up for reelection this year, has made his proposal to suspend the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax until 2023 a staple of his message on the campaign trail.
State Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, called on state lawmakers to back Warnock’s effort in Congress.
“Let’s all band together, let’s push for federal relief on taxes at the pump,” Orrock said.