Georgia lawmakers passed a tax overhaul bill Thursday after cutting a tax exemption that would benefit Delta Airlines.
A Delta Air Lines spokesman confirmed that only 13 members of the National Rifle Association bought discounted tickets using a perk that the airline later withdrew in the wake of Parkland, Florida, school shooting.
I have heard from many of you over the last few days.
"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. Bastian, in the letter to employees, called him "a great friend to Delta".
Delta is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
"I think it's fair to say that this situation would not be helpful to the state of Georgia in potentially securing the Amazon site", said Jerry Funaro, Chicago-based vice president for global marketing at TRC Global Mobility, a relocation management company. We asked if they were financially supporting his campaign, and he said no.
"Corporations can not attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back", he tweeted. He defended the move Friday. Lawmakers threatened to remove a jet-fuel tax break, which had an estimated $40 million benefit for Delta, from a larger tax package unless the carrier reversed course.
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Cagle took a softer tone in celebrating victory Thursday.
Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who is term-limited and serving his final year, bemoaned the controversy as an "unbecoming squabble" fueled by election-year posturing.
Cagle is a front-runner in his race to be Georgia's next Governor.
"What is important is not that [tax break] any more but that Georgians are going to get their tax relief and we couldn't let that fall victim to everything that was going on with Delta", Republican House Speaker David Ralston said.
The NRA has lashed out at companies that have dropped the discounts, saying they were participating in "a shameful display of political and civic cowardice". "The jobs thing now is pushed to the back".
Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a pro-gun Georgia politician who's boasted in the past about the A+ rating he receives from the NRA every year since serving in elected office, led the charge to strip an overarching tax bill of the jet fuel exemption for Delta, which is headquartered in Atlanta. Meanwhile, they slap on high taxes and fees, but don't believe it "fair" for airlines to separate those fees-as other service industries are allowed to-so that customers can see how much of their airfare goes to the government.
Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian announced the policy review a day after the state's lawmakers, angry at Delta's stance on the gun-rights group, punished the airline by removing a tax exemption on jet fuel from a fiscal bill.