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Gas prices drop slowly despite statewide tax cut

Drivers in the Peach State should be saving 31 cents per gallon since the gas tax break was signed a week ago.

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — Filling up your gas tank shouldn't be as hard on your wallet since Gov. Brian Kemp suspended the gas tax last week.

With the temporary suspension, Georgians should save about $0.31 per gallon on gas. 

However, some Central Georgians say they're saving less or seeing no change in prices at all.

"When we go down on a price, we have to go down on all grades," Dushyant Patel, manager of Happy Food Mart in Warner Robins, said.

Patel has been the manager of his family business for five years, serving under his uncle.

According to him, the convenience store profits more from business done inside, "like candy, juice, cigarettes."

The gas station gets its fuel from Mobil's corporate company and lists the prices at their station accordingly, gaining only a few pennies per gallon.

His prices were listed at $3.59 for a week, he said, because the "tax-exempted fuel" arrived Sunday, a few days after the order was issued by the state.

"When I came to work [today] around 11:30, it changed to $3.29 because that was the amount of gas I have cut after the tax exempt," he explained.

Patel said his family business pays for all of their own maintenance out of pocket, which is why they need to make a profit.

During heavy storms, he said, repairs to his pumps and building cost around $2,000 to $2,500.

In regards to the tax break, he's hoping to seeing more customers.

"We are happy because the prices go down, so customers can come get gas, and come inside and get drinks, as well," Patel said. "So it helps business too, when price is low. We get customers, too."

"For me, I'm a little indifferent to it," T'Onna Williams said.

Williams is a student at Savannah State University where she sees higher gas prices, she said.

According to the AAA, the most expensive metro markets in the state are Savannah ($3.47), Atlanta ($3.42) and Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($3.41).

The least expensive are Catoosa-Dade-Walker ($3.30), Brunswick ($3.29), and Albany ($3.23).

Williams said she needs to travel regularly, so she says she will try to keep an eye out for the lowest prices around town before filling up.

"For me, being a college student, every dollar counts," Williams said. "So, yeah, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do a good bit with that money!" 

According to the Governor's office, the tax break should be in effect until Oct. 12. 

Due to the Governor's declaration of an inflation emergency, anyone who thinks they're being gouged on prices can contact the governor's office of consumer protection at their toll-free number:  800-869-1123.

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