Lawmakers consider halting tax breaks after Delta ends NRA discount

Feb 27, 2018
AP Photo/Al Behrman

Conservative Georgia lawmakers are moving to halt a planned tax break for Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. after the airline ended a discount for members of the National Rifle Association.

Several companies have made similar moves against the NRA in the wake of the recent shootings at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead and others injured.

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Delta’s decision sparked an almost immediate reaction, with Georgia House Speaker David Ralson condemning the move and Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle saying he would not support a $50 million jet fuel sales tax break for the airline, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Delta also flies out of Dayton International Airport.

Wading into the political weeds can be tricky for any business.

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“It’s econ 101, or business 201,” Tom Smith, an economist with the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, told the AJC. “It’s a demand-, service-oriented industry and they rely on consumers to sell their product. And in terms of consumers, I think there are surveys out there that the majority of people are interested in some kind of what’s called ‘common sense gun legislation.’ ”

A recent Quinnipiac University National Poll conducted found that two-thirds of American voters support stricter gun control.

For its part, the NRA has blasted opponents for what it calls the exploitation of a tragedy, and the national organization has called the corporate boycotts against it a “display of political and civic cowardice.”

“Let it be absolutely clear. The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world,” the group said in a statement, quoted by USA Today.