State gas taxes go up as fuel costs rise - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State gas taxes go up as fuel costs rise

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June 10, 2007

Albany -- Jay Weathers is not unlike millions of drivers across the country in that he is unhappy with the price of gasoline.

"Well I say gas is just like food we got to have it. I feel like they're ripping us off, honestly. They're going up on things that you don't have no choice but to use," says Jay.

In a society of commuters, gas become a necessity. But when your hard earned dollars go into your fuel pump, remember a good portion of what you're paying are built in taxes.

In the state of Georgia, where the average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded has risen to about three dollars, 18.4 cents of that price is federal tax. But Georgia's gas tax is hybrid and this creates a price fluctuation.

Experts say that Georgia is likely the only state to have witnessed a gas tax increase during a time of high gas prices. But unlike other states, Georgia doesn't have a fixed tax. So it remains below the national average, but when gas prices go up, so do the taxes.

While the increase may only be a few cents, it means a great deal to young drivers like 16-year-old Bradley Royal.

"I have a minimum wage job and it takes about fifty to sixty bucks to fill up my truck. So it's pretty hard on me," says Bradley.

But the taxes could be worse. Georgia has a constant state excise tax of 7.5 cents per gallon and fuel distributors also prepay a 4 percent sales tax, this added to local fees and taxes equals state gas tax costs.

While this may seem like a lot, compared to other states like New York and Illinois with state gas averages of 43.9 and 37.4 cents per gallon respectively, Georgia is far behind averaging 26.3 cents a gallon.

And those state gas tax increases will come sooner than you think at the pumps. The prepaid tax is adjusted each January and July by the Georgia Department of Revenue. With July right around the corner, the tax will likely go up a couple of cents.

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