Abrams tries new tack on gas taxes
July 1, 2022
Inside today’s edition of Swing State Georgia:
Abrams tries to play offense on gas prices.
Clarence Thomas’s name disappears in Savannah.
Checking Georgia’s Constitution on abortion.
As an estimated 1.4 million Georgians prepare to hit the road for the July 4 weekend, drivers may see Stacey Abrams’ new ads on more than 5,500 gas station pumps highlighting her call to suspend the state sales tax on fuel through the end of the year.
“Stacey Abrams says no to tax increases, but she says that’s not enough,” the narrator says. “She’s also calling to suspend the gas tax through the end of 2022 to keep more money in your pocket.”
It’s among the first political ads designed specifically for gas stations and a sign that the Democratic candidate recognizes that gas prices are getting voters’ attention-- and she plans to pressure Kemp on the fuel tax even as the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling remakes her broader strategy.
Abrams is trying to turn the tables on Gov. Brian Kemp, who originated the tax cut and has used it throughout the year to pummel Democrats for rising fuel costs.
A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers passed the legislation in mid-March to temporarily suspend the 29.1 cents-a-gallon motor fuel tax until May, saving drivers more than $300 million in taxes. Kemp later extended the break through July 14, and just this morning pushed it through August 13.
In the past, Kemp’s campaign has panned his opponent’s proposal as a gimmick designed to steer attention away from inflation.
For your Insiders, the gas tax holiday spat between Kemp and Abrams is another interesting moment in the 2022 campaign.
It’s the third time we can think of that Abrams has doubled down on a Kemp proposal and taken it one step further.
Last month, she promised a teacher pay raise larger than the ones Kemp pushed through last year.
Also, Abrams made her own pitch to boost state law enforcement officers’ pay, months after Kemp did the same.
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PRIVACY, PLEASE. As Georgia’s six-week abortion ban moves toward possible implementation later this month, listen out for Democratic arguments that the Georgia Constitution still has privacy protections which would protect abortion access for women, even if the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not.
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