Gov. Deal signs historic $5 billion tax relief bill

Javier Stokes
March 5, 2018

Delta Air Lines says it will look into ending all its discounts with groups that appear to be "politically divisive".

The political battle at the Georgia Capitol was the latest in the debate over gun control and school safety that flared after the February 14 shooting rampage in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and educators dead.

The Republican-controlled legislature of the USA state of Georgia voted on Thursday to pass a sweeping tax bill that scrapped a jet-fuel tax that directly benefited Delta Airlines, in retaliation over the company's NRA policy.

The move by Delta to remove the discounted travel cost the airline a proposed jet fuel tax exemption worth $40 million per year in Georgia as it angered state Republicans.

Ignoring warnings that the state's business-friendly image could be tarnished, Republicans in the state legislature voted Thursday to kill a tax break that would have saved Delta millions of dollars in sales tax on jet fuel.

Bastian's memo coincided this morning with the signing of a sweeping tax bill in Delta's home state of Georgia - where the airline serves as one of the state's largest employers.

And that's not all Atlanta has to worry about - politicians from Virginia, New York, and OH have all reached out to invite Delta to relocate their headquarters. Deal's chief of staff Chris Riley confer in the Senate before the Senate went into recess and the Rules Committee stripped the Delta tax cut from legislation.

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Delta said it supported the Second Amendment, and the entire Constitution.

"Corporations can not attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back", tweeted Cagle, who is also running for governor. However, he said he would push for a jet-fuel tax exemption separately, according to MarketWatch. The governors of New York, Connecticut and Virginia and several mayors have made similar online overtures. Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter said Friday the discounted fares had been available for a short time and were only for NRA members purchasing flights to the group's 2018 convention in Dallas.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian clarified the intention of the company behind remaining neutral regarding the controversy around the gun control reform.

"We had to send a message", said state Sen.

But Atlanta businessman Larry Gellerstedt says Georgia lawmakers may have just blown that.

"Businesses have every legal right to make their own decisions, but the Republican majority in our state legislature also has every right to govern guided by our principles", Cagle said in a statement. "The decision followed the NRA's controversial statements after the recent school shootings in Florida".

Delta, along with other companies, has cut ties with the gun-advocacy group following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead.

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