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Confusion Reigns on Georgia Gas Tax Hike

Photo Credit: Lee Becker

Athens and Oconee County’s two Republican representatives cast conflicting votes on House Bill 170, which overhauls the state’s motor fuel tax, with Regina Quick joining the 43 Republicans in opposition and Chuck Williams voting as part of the 72 Republicans in favor.

The bill, approved by the House on Mar. 5, would have major impact on both local and state taxes on motor fuel if approved by the Senate in its present form.

The state tax on gasoline would increase from its current 19.3 cents per gallon to 29.2 cents per gallon (a 51.3 percent increase), and the tax on diesel would go from 21.3 to 33.0 cents per gallon (a 54.9 percent).

That new tax would be indexed and increase in the future as the costs of transportation construction increases and as fuel efficiency of vehicles increases.

The bill also increases Clarke and Oconee counties’ voter-approved 1 percent Local Option Sales Tax to 1.25 percent without any additional action by the electorate.

The LOST would be removed from motor vehicle fuels as compensation for the increases in the tax rate. How that would affect local residents and governments is unclear.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.