Georgia lawmaker calls for special session on fuel tax

| 6/13/2007

A leading Democratic state lawmaker in Georgia is calling for a special legislative session to pursue a decrease in the state’s fuel sales tax rate.

As of June 1, the state started collecting another 2.1 cents per gallon at the pump. The change increased the 15.2-cent-per-gallon tax rate to 17.3 cents.

The jump is driven by an automatic adjustment of the sales tax when the price of fuel increases or decreases 25 percent from a preset average. The tax could climb another 1.3 cents July 1 when the state is slated to recalculate the tax for the start of the new fiscal year.

Referring to a “growing” fuel crisis, House Minority Leader Rep. DuBose Porter, D-Dublin, sent Gov. Sonny Perdue a letter calling for a special session to roll back the tax increase. Instead, the Republican governor’s office said more time is needed to review the effect of the tax increase.

Perdue suspended collection of the state’s taxes on fuel for one month in the fall of 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. Porter was against that action, and dubbed it a publicity stunt.

Porter was one of several in his party to say the issue could have waited until lawmakers convened the next regular session in January 2006, instead of spending money to hold a special session, The Associated Press reported.

Porter is taking a different approach this time. He wrote in his letter to the governor that “the House Democrats stand ready to return to our posts and work across party lines to resolve this growing gas crisis.”