ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law into effect Friday afternoon which will temporarily suspend Georgia's gas tax.
In theory, it could knock about 29 cents off per gallon at the pump.
The bill, which passed the Georgia House earlier this week and the state Senate on Thursday, will eliminate the state gas tax for two months, through the end of May.
Acknowledging the Russian invasion's impact on gas prices but also placing blame on the Biden administration, Gov. Kemp said in a statement announcing the signing of the bill, H.B. 304, that "we are doing our part to lessen the impact on your wallet."
He said the bill would "temporarily halt collection of the state gas tax and ease the burden consumers are feeling at the pump."
In a release, the governor's office said for more information on the policy, Georgians could "contact Taxpayer Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-877-423-6711" between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Experts have expressed some concern that there's nothing in the legislation to require gas stations to pass along the savings to customers.
"It's absolutely going to help. But we've got no way of actually seeing whether the full 29 cents gets passed through to consumers," said Emory University Economist Ray Hill.
One of the last times Georgia temporarily suspended the state's fuel tax was in 2021, following a cyberattack that prompted an Alpharetta-based company, Colonial Pipeline, to halt its pipeline operations for days.
When Hurricane Katrina shut down the oil refineries in the Gulf in 2005, Georgia suspended the gas tax then, to counter the higher prices, and "what we found was that about two-thirds of the tax found its way into reduced prices," said Georgia State University Economist David Sjoquist, with retailers, he said, pocketing the rest.
However, the state attorney general's office told 11Alive that if gas stations do not pass along the savings to customers, they could face prosecution for price gouging.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify the last time Georgia suspended the state fuel tax.