The strong stand against the National Rifle Association by Delta is going to cost the airline plenty. The Georgia legislature has passed a bill that revokes a tax cut on jet fuel that saved the Atlanta based airline an estimated $40 million.
Delta is one of several companies to drop their association with the NRA in the wake of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting on Valentine's Day. The airline ended its discount ticket program for NRA members last week; Fox News reports that move angered lawmakers in Georgia who were in the middle of debating whether to renew the tax break:
The final version of the bill dropped a tax break worth millions to the airline. Until it was removed, the amendment would have renewed a jet fuel tax exemption taken off the books in 2015.
But GOP lawmakers, led by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, moved quickly to punish Delta for its split with the NRA.
“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.
It turns out that the dropping of the discount for political reasons will be quite costly. Delta told Delaware Online that it had sold only 13 tickets through the NRA discount:
After the firestorm, Delta will review all its marketing programs to avoid those that might become political, CEO Ed Bastian announced Friday.
But the airline said only 13 passengers ever bought tickets with an NRA discount. That translates into each discount costing the airline about $3 million in tax breaks.
Georgia's lawmakers had warned Delta not to drop the NRA, to which Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the company's values were not for sale.