State Lawmakers Punish Airline for Cutting Ties With NRA

Delta cut ties with NRA, so Georgia lawmakers voted to kill its tax break
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 1, 2018 5:59 PM CST
In this Oct. 13, 2016 file photo, passengers unload in front of a Delta Air Lines sign at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

(Newser) – Pro-gun Georgia lawmakers scored a political victory Thursday over Delta Air Lines, making good on Republican threats to deny the company a hefty tax break after it cut ties with the NRA, the AP reports. The state House and Senate within hours of each other passed a sweeping tax bill that Republicans had amended to strip out a sales tax exemption on jet fuel. Atlanta-based Delta would have been the prime beneficiary of the tax break, which would have been worth an estimated $38 million. GOP Gov. Nathan Deal criticized the Delta controversy as an "unbecoming squabble" but said he would sign the broader tax measure in whatever form it passed.

The Senate's presiding officer is Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who vowed Monday to stop any tax break that would benefit Delta—sparking a showdown at the state Capitol between gun-rights supporters and one of Georgia's largest private employers. Rank-and-file Republicans in the Senate stood by Cagle's threat to squash the jet fuel perk, which he announced Monday with a tweet that said: "Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back." Delta's decision to stop offering NRA members discounted fares was announced in the wake of the deadly shooting at a Parkland high school. The airline employs 33,000 workers in Georgia.

(Read more Delta Air Lines stories.)

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