How Georgia’s gas tax (actually) works

Recently, supporters alerted us to a misleading “info graphic” published as propaganda in favor of the gas tax hike.

To counter this propaganda, we’ve created a corrected version of the graphic. Enjoy!

As you can see, the original graphic is misleading in several ways.

  1. The graphic warns that sales taxes rise as the price of the product rises, a definite loss to taxpayers. But the graphic conveniently omits the fact that sales taxes decrease as the price of the product decreases, a definite windfall for taxpayers.
  2. The center portion of the graphic uses 29.2 cents per gallon as the “current” sales tax which just happens to be the exact amount of state excise imposed by H.B. 170. This is patently false. Gasoline prices in Georgia are currently the lowest they have been in years, and as a result the combined state and local sales taxes on gasoline are the lowest they have been in years. The 7.1 and 11.9 cents per gallon figures are derived from API’s analysis of Georgia gas tax prices as of January 16, 2015.
  3. The bottom portion of the graphic simply omits the 6 cents per gallon local excise tax that H.B. 170 provides for counties and municipalities.
  4. The bottom portion also omits the automatic, yearly tax hike imposed by H.B. 170 based on inflation and C.A.F.E. standards. As the cost of money rises, Georgia gas taxes will rise. Likewise, as cars become more fuel efficient, Georgia gas taxes will rise.
  5. Finally, the bottom portion of the graphic ignores the reality that moving to an excise tax and requiring that tax to be used on transportation will result less tax dollars for schools. Schools don’t build roads or bridges and therefore will no longer receive tax dollars from gasoline sales under H.B. 170. We agree that all tax dollars from gasoline sales should go towards roads and bridges, but it is misleading to omit this aspect of the bill. The result will be that many local school boards will raise property taxes to make up the difference.