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Kemps Tax Suspension Brings Relief to Strained Citizens

Jack Thurmond
Seen here are recent gas prices at the Exxon at Browns Bridge Rd and Ash Cir. Store Property Manager Mark Mendoza said that last month costs peaked at $3.79 due to inflation.

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order that suspended Georgia’s gas tax for one month. The decision came on the heels of excessive national inflation.

On Sept. 13, the latest period inflation rate revealed a value of 3.67%, higher than both the rise from the prior period of 3.2% and the long-term average of 3.28%.  

The inflation in Georgia has been the greatest the state’s observed in months. It’s estimates escalated 0.9% in August compared to 0.3% in July. August’s totals are the state’s highest percentages witnessed since May’s ratio of 1.5%

Inflation has resulted in soaring prices for a multitude of necessities, with gas ascending among the worst. 

Mark Mendoza, property manager of the Exxon at Browns Bridge Rd and Ash Cir claimed prices peaked at $3.79 last month.

Meanwhile at the RaceTrac at Mundy Mill Rd and Old Oakwood Rd, Shift Manager, Bell Bell, noted gas prices near $3.80 before the tax break.

At the time of Kemp’s order, the average cost of regular grade in Georgia was $3.69, more than the $3.57 projected by the EIA August forecast. 

Three weeks later, his directive seems to have paid off as residents appreciate more reasonable prices than those prior. 

Garrison Bennett, an international affairs major at the University of North Georgia and campaign employee, used to spend $65 a week due to high gas fees. Since the tax suspension, he has spent $52 a week. 

“I’m saving about two hours of my work salary, which is money I can use for school.” – Garrison Bennett, Campaign Employee and UNG Junior 

Catherine Harper, a UNG Dining Services Staff member, used to spend $100 to fill up her Chevy Suburban. In recent weeks, her totals slopped down to $80. 

Local gas station managers, like Mendoza and Bell, also welcome the lower prices. 

Mendoza views the tax cut as a great idea for reducing the financial weight on shoppers. “Any time we can give our customers a break, it’s a great thing,” he said. 

Bell hopes lessened fees will bring more customers to her store, thinking they will inspire people to travel and spend more time with their families.

While most support the suspension, the remaining question is whether it should have come sooner. 

Luke Robinson, a UNG engineering major, believes it would have made more sense to pause the tax when prices were higher. 

On the contrary, Bennett feels that the intermission timing was reasonable enough. He says that the revenue from the tax was a necessity in paying for state resources such as roads and transportation.

No matter how soon it should have come, Georgians are delighted that financial relief is here for now. Halt on the tax stands until Saturday, Nov. 11 at 11:59 p.m.  

Until then, residents should take advantage of the new rates and fill up before prices change.

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About the Contributor
Jack Thurmond
Jack Thurmond, Staff Writer
Hello there! My name is Jack Thurmond. This is my third year at the University of North Georgia, and I am studying communications to become a sports journalist. I joined the Vanguard because it gives me the window to experience things I typically would not get to.
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