Delta Only Sold 13 Tickets With NRA Discount
The ongoing skirmish over Delta's discount for National Rifle Association members and Georgia lawmakers who want to end its sales tax exemption on jet fuel is over a sale of only 13 tickets.Delta, which decided to end its group ticket discount for NRA members in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, told TPG that during the entirety of the discount program, only 13 tickets were purchased using the discount."It was a one-time group rate for the NRA’s annual meeting, which I believe will be in April," a Delta spokesman told TPG Friday.When Delta, which is headquartered in Atlanta, first announced it would end the discount for NRA members, Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle threatened to revoke the sales tax exemption on fuel, which is worth about $50 million a year.
Last night, the Georgia State Senate and House overwhelmingly passed the legislation that would revoke the tax exemption for Delta. The bill now awaits the signature of Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, who has said that he would sign it into law despite being a supporter of the tax exemptions.After the bill passed, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian released a memo Friday to all Delta employees, which said the airline's intent was to "remain neutral," even as lawmakers threatened its tax exemptions. "Our decision was not made for economic gain, and our values are not for sale. We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature."Following speculation that the airline would move its headquarters out of Georgia, Bastian clarified in the memo that the squabble wouldn't change "the fact that our home is Atlanta, and we are proud and honored to locate our headquarters here.""I have tremendous respect and admiration for Governor Nathan Deal, and thank him for the work he has done on the jet fuel tax exemption," Bastian continued in his statement. "He is a great friend to Delta. I know this action by the state legislature troubled him as it does all of us."