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Georgia Lawmakers Symbolically Try to Pull Delta’s Jet Fuel Tax Break

Georgia Lawmakers Symbolically Try to Pull Delta’s Jet Fuel Tax Break
Joe Cortez

The Georgia state legislature is making a move to rescind a $40 million jet fuel tax break given to Delta Air Lines in 2018, after chief executive Ed Bastian changed his position to stand in opposition of Senate Bill 202. The state House of Representatives voted to claw back the tax break, which immediately died after the state Senate adjourned their yearly session.

Georgia politicians are firing back (symbolically) against Delta Air Lines and chief executive Ed Bastian, after he changed course to condemn the state’s controversial new voting law. CBS News reports the Georgia House of Representatives forwarded a bill to claw back the airline’s jet fuel tax break, but the measure ultimately died in the state Senate.

Grandiose Gesture Shows Retaliatory Tactics Available to Legislators

The bill was hastily drawn up in the state’s lower chamber after Bastian issued a strongly-worded statement against Georgia’s Senate Bill 202. After using much softer language to explain the Atlanta-based carrier’s position – which was met by severe public backlash – the executive issued a new memo that said the overhaul was “unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.” Bastian claimed that he needed time to “fully understand all that is in the bill,” and: “The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections.”

After the statement, members of the Georgia House of Representatives drafted a bill to strip the $40 million tax credit granted in 2018. Although the law benefits more than just Delta, Bastian’s carrier received the majority of the financial support.

However, the attempt ended up being little more than a symbolic gesture against one of the state’s biggest employers. While the bill was advanced in a late-day vote on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, it was not taken up by the Senate before its yearly session was adjourned.

Bastian’s comments came as several companies started adjusting their positions to the voting rights overhaul. Other major companies headquartered in Georgia, including Coca-Cola and Home Depot, also issued statements against the new legislation.

Latest Move Marks Second Time Georgia’s Lawmakers Attempted to Politically Punish Delta

The legislative move is the second attempt by Georgia legislators to strip the tax credit from Delta. In 2018, lawmakers attempted to take away the jet fuel credit after Delta cut ties with the National Rifle Association.

View Comments (22)


  1. Cotumely

    April 2, 2021 at 4:30 am

    Thank God I don’t live in Georgia.

  2. vargha

    April 2, 2021 at 5:21 am

    Too bad it wasn’t done earlier. Citizens of a state shouldn’t have to use their hard-earned dollars to support corporate welfare. They should take it up the next time around.

  3. arcticflier

    April 2, 2021 at 6:49 am

    I suppose this new corporate activism is a great offense to distract citizens from seeing the real damage these “Profit at Any Cost” Corporations expose us to daily.

    My favorite is Coca-Cola taking a stance against Voter ID…how many billions of childrens’ teeth have they destroyed globally and how many cases have Diabetes have they created with corn syrup fueled child obesity?


  4. DeltaFlyer123

    April 2, 2021 at 7:58 am

    Maybe Delta should have kept their hub in Memphis and de-hubbed Atlanta. But “whoda thought” Georgia would come to this?

  5. MEaton

    April 2, 2021 at 9:49 am

    “Woke”, “Cancel Culture” Lawmakers run amuck. When did we stop respecting our fellow Americans’ opinions? How much worse is political discourse going to get? Why does Delta have these unforced errors? Mr. Bastian should just keep his mouth shut and not be goaded into publishing opinions that will be loved by 50% and hated by 50% of his passengers/customers. How do ever win with those numbers? Like Bill Belichick always says “Just DO YOUR JOB!”, leave the BS off the field.

  6. BC Shelby

    April 2, 2021 at 10:04 am

    …the Rs’ are a vindictive lot these days, just like their former leader who was the previous occupant of the Oval Office.

    So in doing this they are going to penalise Delta’s customers with higher fares, and possibly cause them consider flying a different airline to save money, which in turn will come back to hurt their state.


    If they succeed with this, maybe Mr. Bastain should have Delta cease funding all GOP PACs and campaigns in return. Or, better yet, move the company’s HQ and operations base to MSP and let Georgia’s GOP see what it’s like to have their Capitol relegated to a spoke instead of a hub.(wouldn’t be the first time such a relocation was made, just look at Boeing’s abandonment of the Pacific Northwest, first moving their Admin HQ to Chicago, and most recently moving all 787 production to South Carolina).

  7. dhturk

    April 2, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Just curious if the Delta CEO put out a letter condemning China for their horrible human rights record, and specifically the persecution of Muslims in China. Probably should ask the same question for other Georgia based businesses having extensive business dealing with China.

  8. edgewood49

    April 2, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    I agree with dhturk hey Bastain what about all the other crap going on in the world? AND THEN Baseball now moves the All Star Game because of this. it seems “America’s Game” has gone political ( sucking up).

    There just is no leadership nor direction in this country today. And I went to war got injured and 70% disabled by the VA for this ?

  9. SpartyAir

    April 3, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    So many idiots here that never read the bill, so they don’t know what’s in the bill and they are making themselves look foolish. There is a reason the far left wing Washington Post gave Biden 4 Pinocchio’s twice. It’s because he lied about the bill. When will you learn you can’t believe the main stream media?

  10. cairns

    April 4, 2021 at 9:54 am

    If Delta wants to move their hub to Memphis in response to those vicious Republicans have at it. Let’s see if Tennessee wants to subsidize them.

    I highly doubt they will.

  11. cmd320

    April 5, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Ed was stupid to comment on the political aspect of things at all.

  12. CharlotteYork

    April 5, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    BC Shelby,
    Can’t you say the same thing about MLB’s decision to move the All Star Game out of GA? Who will that penalize? Perhaps all the GA small business owners who will no longer be receiving anticipated revenue from game attendees who spend money at restaurants, shopping, hotels and Airbnbs. Sheesh. Doesn’t MLB, Delta and Coca Cola realize that they are going to alienate half of Americans? Why can’t we just enjoy baseball, soda and flying without the political slant?

  13. DeirdreTours

    April 5, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    Charlotte York– You wonder why we can just enjoy baseball, soda and flying without the political slant???? Gee, I guess because Georgia Republicans has decided the only way to keep Democrats from winning is stop people from voting. Voting is fundamental to a free society.

  14. ezefllying

    April 5, 2021 at 8:30 pm


    I remember when Republicans fought for corporations’ rights to “free speech” and “religious liberty” in the form of anti-gay restrictions, health-insurance limits, and, of course, endless donations to Republican candidates.

    Now, Republicans are threatening to official governmental actions to punish corporations for expressing an opinion.

    Crazy how the Republicans’ alleged free-market, free-speech impulses flip to cancel-culture authoritarianism when it becomes convenient.

    Fortunately, if a presidential election and two new senators are any indication, Republican control of Georgia may not be long for the world, no matter how many voters they try to dehydrate.

  15. Grog

    April 6, 2021 at 5:33 am

    “Why can’t we just enjoy baseball, soda and flying without the political slant?”

    Until you and everyone else fights hard enough to get Corporate Money out of U.S. elections, this is going to be the way things will be.

  16. mc4bbs


    April 6, 2021 at 5:37 am

    This isn’t the first time Georgia’s legislature has openly DISCRIMINATED against non-whites.

    It’s also not the first time they have THREATENED DELTA AIRLINES because they stood up against it.

    Perhaps it’s time for DELTA, HOME DEPOT, COCA COLA to MOVE their headquarters out of Georgia!?!

    Georgia wants to be the new Mississippi or Alabama? Not with MY MONEY.

  17. PaulMSN

    April 6, 2021 at 5:39 am

    arcticflier, do you realize your rant against Coca Cola is a non sequitur?

    dhturk and edgewood49, no one is required to give opinions on every subject just because they give an opinion on one. It’s an attempt at diversion, not an argument.

    These corporations are doing the ethical thing here, and MEaton, it’s not anything like 50-50.

  18. arcticflier

    April 6, 2021 at 5:53 am

    How many tens of billions of dollars are these air carriers earmarked for in the next two Biden Pandemic Relief Bills?

  19. 206driver

    April 6, 2021 at 7:27 am

    Ed really stepped in it. Delta the corporation should really stick to running an airline. How many flights canceled last Sunday (again supposedly staffing????
    We elect people to make laws, etc., I dont really expect corporations to be exerting influence, dont they realize that in this day and age, on most issues they are alienating about half of their customers, no matter what position they take? As a shareholder I was appalled at Ed on this, hopefully Board of Directors will take that up with him privately.

  20. tkelvin69

    April 6, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Good for Delta, Coca Cola and all the others to stand up to racist actions. Business, politics, and ethics are all in the same space.

  21. cairns

    April 7, 2021 at 10:55 am

    These days, according to Dems, if you ask for a photo ID to do anything you’re a racist.

  22. formeraa

    April 8, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    What’s really rich is that the R’s fought hard for corporations to have 1st Amendment rights, just like citizens. So, Delta said something they don’t like and now corporations should shut up? Really???

    But Georgia should be ashamed! Making it harder to vote? Can’t give food or water to those waiting in line? I wonder what Jesus would say about that?

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