Breaking News
More () »

Fuel tax suspension passes state senate committee

The proposal to suspend the state's fuel sales tax now only needs approval from the full senate and then Governor Brian Kemp's signature.

ATLANTA — Relief at the pump is looking good for Georgians. The state Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to suspend Georgia's gas tax on Tuesday.

House representatives passed the bill on March 11, which means the full Senate must pass it to land on Governor Brian Kemp's desk, who's expected to sign the measure. 

The Senate could hold the vote as early as Tuesday evening.

This bill would give drivers relief while gas prices continue to climb by suspending the additional 29 cents per gallon on unleaded gs purchases.

If passed, the measure would last through May 31. 

Drivers were paying well above $4.00 per gallon at many gas stations around Atlanta and said that suspending the tax would bring only a small amount of help but still want lawmakers to approve it immediately.

"Anything helps at this point. This is way too much," Coryell Brown said as he pumped gas. 

Brown is trying to save money on gas when he can but said it is challenging since he needs to use his car.

"Staying at home, as much as I can," he said. "But that is about it. I wish I would have got a hybrid."

Brown isn't alone; several drivers said they have no choice but to pay the high price for gas because they have to drive to work. 

"I have a solid commute to work," Bethany Bonvillain, driver, said. "I drive 25 minutes back and forth for work. Other than that, I try to stay locally." 

Small business owners are also feeling the pain at the pump.

"It is costing us about an extra $3,000 a month to keep the trucks rolling," Todd Wiedmeier, co-owner of TLC Landscape group, said.

After filling up tanks on Tuesday, for landscaping equipment, Wiedmeier said he, unfortunately, had to off-put that cost on his customers. 

"We are adding fuel surcharges at this point," Wiedmeier said. "We hope to be temporary, but it is something we've got to have. I'm not going to buy myself work."  

For drivers who are looking to stretch their gas for as many miles as possible, auto expert Lauren Fix of Car Coach Reports has three simple tips:

Don't idle your vehicle. 

"We typically think it's only a couple of pennies to sit in the drive-thru," Fix said. "Park your vehicle. Go inside. That will save you the most fuel."

Limit the weight

She recommends not carrying anything in your car you don't need. By limiting the weight inside your car, you could increase your car's fuel efficiency. 

Stay up-to-date on maintenance. 

"Anytime an engine is not maintained properly, that means something's not functioning properly," Fix said. "So you're not going to get the best fuel economy when a pump or hose isn't working."


Before You Leave, Check This Out