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GA drivers will pay more Nov. 30 as fuel tax suspension ends

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If you stopped at a Georgia gas station today to top off your tank, you might have encountered a line.

Peach State motorists will see fuel prices increase tomorrow, Nov. 30, as the governor's emergency suspension of the state fuel excise taxes expires. So you couldn't blame them for trying to get one last bargain at the pump.

Gov. Brian Kemp's decree, first issued in September and then extended in October through most of this month, saved drivers of gasoline-powered vehicles 31.2 cents per gallon. Drivers of auto that use diesel saved 35 cents per gallon.

In addition to the fuel cost relief, Kemp's Executive Order also suspended the collection of the state's 4 percent sales tax on fuel purchases.

Inflation reason subsides: Kemp made the move initially to help Georgia drivers deal with inflation.

The good news is that inflations has been subsiding, not just in Georgia, but nationwide. That's not a surprise.

Fuel analysts note that pump prices almost always ease at this time of year as winter blend gasoline is cheaper to produce than the summer fuel variety.

In Georgia, AAA reports that the average cost per gallon of regular gas this week is $2.78 a gallon. Even with the 31.2 cent gas tax added back, the average cost, while topping $3, still would be less than the latest national average of $3.25 a gallon.

Legislative possibility: There is one tiny drop of hope for drivers.

The Georgia Legislature began a special session today, Nov. 28. The primary reason for the session is to redraw voting districts. The remapping effort was mandated by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, who in October ruled that some of the state's congressional, state Senate, and state House districts were drawn in a racially discriminatory manner.

It's possible that Kemp could ask the legislature to suspend the tax again. Or, since by state law the suspension must end when state lawmakers are in session, Kemp could let it lapse and then suspend the fuel taxes again after the special session ends.

But since the fuel tax relief is so close to the finish line, most drivers should be prepared to pay more at the pump starting Nov. 30.

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