What’s happening to Georgia’s gas prices?

Today I noticed something while filling up my gas tank – the price of gasoline hasn’t fallen much in my part of Atlanta, despite hearing that prices were plunging nationwide.

Then, I saw this tweet showing how cheap gas has gotten in South Carolina, just a few hundred miles away:

$1.87, while I’m still paying $2.50 one state to the west? What gives?

Georgia has traditionally been on the more expensive side of gas prices compared to South Carolina, but the Peach State used to have one of the cheaper averages in the nation. Now, it seems we’re stuck somewhere in the middle.

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According to Gas Buddy, Georgians paid an average of $2.44 per gallon of gas on Tuesday, ranking us No. 17 out of the 50 states. Not bad, right?

Well, when you see which states are paying the least for gas, you may get a little angry. The six states with the cheapest gas prices are just about every other Deep South state: South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana.

What’s the problem here?

Part of the issue seems to be our taxes. As of July 1, we’re now paying an extra 6 to 7 cents per gallon because of a new state tax on gasoline. And if you subtract 7 cents from our average gas price, we’d be at $2.37 per gallon, which would rank us in a tie for ninth-lowest with Virginia.

I spoke to a buddy of mine who works in the petroleum industry, and he informed me that there are a slew of factors that could be leading to these elevated prices, but the truth remains – we’re still getting squeezed at the pump while our neighboring states pay much lower prices.

As someone who traditionally votes conservative on fiscal matters, I’d say it’s time for this Red State to dial back the taxation a little and allow Georgians to spend a little less of their hard-earned money on gas.

Photo: AP/David Goldman

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