Georgia Denies Delta Tax Break Following NRA Split
With two separate lawsuits filed against the airline this week, as well as a missed opportunity to celebrate the US curling team in style, Delta's PR team is working overtime.
They'll probably be staying late at the office tonight as well: Georgia lawmakers just successfully blocked a major tax cut for Atlanta-based Delta Airlines in retaliation for the carrier's recent public stand against the National Rifle Association (NRA).
After a deadly shooting at a Florida high school this past Valentine's Day, Delta joined a number of corporations, including fellow carrier United Airlines, that formally cut ties with the NRA. On February 24, Delta terminated its NRA member discount, and asked the NRA to remove all Delta information from its website.
Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle retaliated with a tweet of his own:
On March 1, the Georgia Senate and House overwhelmingly passed a GOP-amended tax bill that removed a sales tax exemption on jet fuel worth as much as $50 million for Delta, according to CNN Money.
The bill now sits on the desk of Republican Governor Nathan Deal, who holds the power to veto or approve the bill. Despite criticizing the political "antics" of Cagle and other pro-gun legislators as "unbecoming squabble", Deal stated Wednesday that he will approve the bill because "disagreement on key issues of our time should not prevent Georgians from keeping more of their hard-earned dollars."
Delta, one of the world's largest airlines, which employs around 33,000 employees at its Georgia headquarters alone, has other options if the break-up takes place. The carrier has been wooed by a number of Democrats following the NRA split.
A day after Cagle's threat, Virginia Democrat Governor Ralph Northam tweeted Delta, saying:
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul added her own proposal for Delta, saying, "As one of your most frequent flyers, know that the NY LG admires your principled stance. Let’s continue our great relationship. NY is open for business & ❤'s Delta — move HQ to where you’re appreciated?"