The Georgia senate is looking to push through a massive tax break that will save Delta millions of dollars, just days after the airline took a political stand against the National Rifle Association. On Saturday, Delta announced that they were ending their discounted rates for NRA members. They are one of over a dozen companies that have cut ties with the organization this week as the Democrats have used the Parkland school shooting to call for boycotts.
Delta’s decision to wade into left-wing politics came just before a vote on a proposed jet fuel tax break that could save the company approximately $40 million if it passes. The bill, HB 918, has already passed the Georgia State House and has moved on to the state senate. While the company has attempted to claim that they are not taking sides in the debate about gun control, their cutting ties with the NRA appears to scream otherwise
If Delta really thinks this is how their decision to back out of the NRA discount program will be perceived they’re incredibly naive. pic.twitter.com/tIRejLUZSa
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) February 24, 2018
Now, Republicans who value constitutional rights are taking a stand and demanding that if Delta doesn’t need the business of the more than 5,000,000 members of the NRA — they surely aren’t hurting for cash and do not need this tax break. Senator Michael Williams, Trump’s former GA Co-Chair and Republican candidate for Governor, spent the weekend leading the charge against the tax break by speaking at events and taking to social media. The airline made roughly $3.6 billion in 2017 alone.
“It’s giving a subsidy to a company at the same time that they’re basically saying to the people in the state of Georgia, all those who believe in the second amendment, we really don’t respect that right,” Cobb County Republican Party Chairman Jason Shepherd said in a statement to 11 Alive. The left isn’t thrilled with the tax break either, as approximately half of the company’s jet fuel tax payment — roughly $20 million — goes to schools and the local government in Clayton County. The county is home to about 5,000 of Delta’s own employees.
Delta has now insulted every Georgia member of the NRA. They clearly don’t value us & don’t deserve our handout.
— Michael Williams (@williamsforga) February 24, 2018
“For Clayton schools alone, the cut would eliminate 17 percent of the money used for construction projects. For Delta the total savings would be equal to just over one percent of its global profits last year,” AJC reports. The bill is being pushed by Governor Nathan Deal and Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. Interestingly, Delta’s lobbyist is Governor Deal’s former Executive Counsel.
On Friday, a senator attempted to add an amendment during the Finance Committee meeting which would have removed the Delta taxpayer giveaway. The Finance Chair said they would not accept an amendments to be voted on for this bill because a deal had already been worked out, violating the Senate’s rules. Senator Williams was furious about the refusal and managed to stall the bill from going to a floor vote that day. It is now expected to be voted on Monday.
According to a source who leaked comments to the Gateway Pundit, during a private Monday morning senate caucus meeting, the governor himself showed up and let the senators know that they “better push this tax cut through” or they could forget about passing any legislation. The governor’s chief of staff also reportedly stated that there is “someone in this room that I could shoot” referring to Williams over his revolt. The Gateway Pundit has reached out to Delta to ask if their decision to sever ties with the NRA was a move to appease the left regarding this tax deal. We will update this story with their response if one is provided.