By Jean Ross

ATLANTA (WAOK)-In an effort to keep gas prices from inching back up to pre-Memorial Day levels, Gov. Nathan Deal decided to freeze the gas tax that was scheduled to take effect July 1. Right now drivers in Georgia pay about 20 cents a gallon in tax. July 1 the tax was scheduled to rise to 22 cents a gallon.

The freeze will be in effect until the end of the year. Motorists just experienced an increase in the state gas tax on May 1.

According to the  AJC, the part of the gas tax affected by Deal’s decision is adjusted twice a year to match inflation. But in the meantime if gas prices soar 25 percent or more before the next scheduled increase, the state institutes an extra gas tax hike. That’s what happened May 1.

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue did the same thing in 2008, and in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, Perdue suspended the state gas tax entirely for about a month.

Another factor helping push down gas prices lately is that the U.S. and other countries decided Thursday to release 60 million barrels of oil from reserves, to help fill the gap in supply left by disruption in Libya.


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