Georgia lawmakers are rescinding a potential tax break offered to Delta airlines as a retaliation for their recent change in stance on the NRA. The move is being called "the most stinging punishment that America’s pro-gun forces have leveled so far," by the New York Times.
This new approved bill strips a $50 million sales tax exemption for jet fuel that was seen as a huge incentive for Delta's businesses. Delta is one of the state's largest employers.
The battle between Delta and the state of Georgia is being waged in the wake of a wave of activism following a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida in March of 2018. In accordance with a growing national #BoycottNRA movement, Delta (along with several other companies) had revoked their partnerships with the right-wing gun lobbying organization.
Shortly after Delta made their announcement on the matter, some Republicans began devising ways to "fight back."
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle issued a harsh missive on Twitter.
Cagle has received an A+ grade from the NRA, The New York Times notes.
Delta maintains that they are attempting to stay unbiased in the gun control debate.
The decision “reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings," Delta said in a statement.
On March 1, the Georgia House and Georgia Senate (both Republican controlled) approved the bill without the tax exemption by a large margin. The bill will soon land on the desk of Republican governor, Nathan Deal, who has pledged to sign it into law.
Deal has been critical of Republicans' handling of the debate but has agreed to sign the bill anyway because it creates a reduction in personal and corporate tax rates.
“Ours is a welcoming state — the epitome of ‘Southern Hospitality,’” said Deal, who will leave office because of term limits early next year, according to The New York Times. “We were not elected to give the late-night talk show hosts fodder for their monologues or to act with the type of immaturity that has caused so many in our society to have a cynical view of politics.”
Democrats of the state have expressed their dismay with the proceedings.
“Unfortunately, we’re looking at political gamesmanship, and trying to send ultraconservative messages for the Republican primary,” said Senator Steve Henson, the minority leader, according to The New York Times.
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