Georgia and Maryland Become First States To Suspend Gas Tax

by TK Sanders
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Georgia and Maryland suspended their states’ gas tax amidst record-high oil prices and surging fuel costs. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a short-term bill that waived the 36.1 cents per gallon tax on regular gas and the 36.85 cents per gallon tax on diesel. The bill lasts for 30 days. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also signed a similar bill that eliminates the state’s 29 cents per gallon tax through the end of May.

At a glance

  • Gas prices average more than $4 across the country, with states out West at $5 and above
  • State lawmakers across the country are trying to mitigate the issues at the state level while the federal government continues to blame Russia
  • Many drivers say they will soon have to adjust their driving habits if prices never go down

According to AAA, regular gasoline averaged $4.26 per gallon nationwide Sunday, down about 7 cents from a week earlier; but still roughly $1.40 higher than a year ago.

In response to the massive backlash, the White House recently considered a stimulus program via prepaid gas cards. The idea stalled badly in Congress, though, where Democrats and Republicans alike scoffed at both the cost and the burden it would place on the IRS. Some Congressmen have floated plans to suspend the federal gas tax, as well, but no such plans have made it far into the legislative process.

Other states besides Georgia and Maryland may also suspend their gas tax. Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked lawmakers in her state to draw up a bill that would eliminate the state’s six percent gas tax temporarily. In California, where gas prices routinely top the national average by multiple dollars per gallon, lawmakers want to hand out $400 gas cards.

Georgina and Maryland suspended their gas tax, but states out West really need the relief

The staggering rise in gas prices have left President Biden will putrid poll numbers just months ahead of the November mid-term elections. A majority of voters, 63 percent, said they disapproved of Biden’s handling of inflationary gas prices; only 34 percent approved of his policies. Cost-of-goods was his worst rating among the six policy issues in the poll.

Overall, Biden’s approval numbers continue to dip: just 42 percent of Americans approve of Biden, while 57 percent disapprove. Yet Biden and his administration continue to blame external factors for their policy failures.

“Let’s be absolutely clear about why prices are high now are high for two reasons. One was COVID, and the way the global economy works,” Biden said last Monday. “Now a second big reason for inflation is Vladimir Putin. Make no mistake; the current spiking gas prices largely the fault of Vladimir Putin.”

According to a survey conducted by AAA, 59 percent of Americans changed their driving habits recently to cope with the high price of gas. If the price goes above $5 per gallon, which it has in some states, 75 percent of consumers said they’ll need to make adjustments.

In addition to California, states like Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Nevada are also experiencing gas prices over $5 per gallon.