Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has announced yesterday that he will halt an increase in the state’s motor fuel tax that was scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

Since January, gas prices rose from $3.21 to $3.66 in Georgia. As the state’s Department of Revenue establishes the motor fuel tax every six months based on the average of gas prices, the recent rise in gas prices would have called for an increase in the state gas tax by 15 percent. In addition to the scheduled six-month evaluation, major fluctuations in gas prices can also trigger an adjustment in the state gas tax. The governor has the authority to suspend collection of a state tax until the next meeting of the General Assembly, which must approve the suspension.

“We’re seeing a steady rebound in Georgia’s economy, with our unemployment rate going down and state revenues heading up, but Georgians are still paying gas prices that are high by historical standards,” Deal stated. “To remove this financial burden on Georgia taxpayers and businesses, I signed an executive order suspending the motor fuel tax increase set for next month. This will help cut costs for families and keep us the No. 1 place in the nation for business.”

The Georgia Department of Transportation has stated that Governor Deal’s decision to suspend the tax will not affect any planned work. GDOT’s spending on maintenance and improvement for the coming year is determined by money generated from the previous year’s motor fuel tax collection.