Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R), pictured above, who is running to become governor of the state in 2018, on Monday threatened to kill massive tax break for Delta Airlines over the company’s decision to drop a discount deal for National Rifle Association members.
And the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday that the tax break was “effectively grounded” in the state Senate. The paper noted that Cagle, who serves as Senate president, said the state shouldn’t help corporations that “kowtow to the type of political pressure that comes against conservative values.”
I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.
— Casey Cagle (@CaseyCagle) February 26, 2018
In the wake of the Valentine’s Day shooting massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, many large corporations faced pressure to sever their formal relationships with the NRA. Delta announced Saturday that it would stop offering discounted flights to NRA members traveling to the group’s annual convention.
Local reporters wrote at the time that move could endanger a jet fuel tax break that, according to WXIA, would save the airline $40 million. Business Insider noted the exemption for jet fuel purchases in the state, where Delta is headquartered, first went into effect in 2005 and expired in 2015.
Cagle isn’t alone: Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Greg Blutstein, who wrote on Twitter that the tax break was “effectively dead” unless Delta reversed its NRA decision, noted several prominent GOP politicians in the state — including House Speaker David Ralston and Republican gubernatorial candidate Clay Tippins — have said that the tax break should face trouble as a result of Delta’s decision.
WXIA noted that Rick Jeffares, a former Republican state senator and current candidate for lieutenant governor, had also announced his new opposition to the tax break, saying, “If Delta can afford to write off the travel business of all those folks, they clearly don’t need a special tax break from Georgians.”