The state gas tax will go up Sunday unless Gov. Nathan Deal waives the increase. Deal says he knows high gas prices are causing hardships but has no plans to freeze it.
Georgia's gas tax changes twice a year using a formula that’s tied to average gas prices. When they go up, so does the gas tax. The tax will automatically rise by three cents a gallon on Sunday.
Gov. Deal has the power to intervene, but he says doing so would go against the spirit of the law.
“The posture for that is already established in the law of the state of Georgia, and I think that for a change to be made is something for the General Assembly to take up rather than the Governor, ad-hoc, on his own, taking action on it,” he told reporters Tuesday at the Governor's Mansion.
The average cost of a gallon of regular gas is $3.75 in Georgia, according to Triple-A.
Previous governors, including Gov. Sonny Perdue, have frozen the tax. But Deal says intervening would circumvent the law, without producing a big change.
“The change that could be made to waive what could be a very small incremental increase would be really very small, compared to the overall cost of gasoline,” he said.
Georgia's gas tax changes at the beginning of May and January each year.