Georgia’s GOP lawmakers punish Delta for ending an NRA discount used by just 13 people

Of course, actual repercussions have already arrived: Georgia’s GOP lawmakers killed a major tax break that would have benefited the Atlanta-based airline, much to the dismay of their own governor.

The state’s Senate Republicans voted down a tax break on jet fuel for flights at Atlanta’s airport, where Delta is based, and Gov. Nathan Deal will sign it, although he’s not happy:

At a press conference Wednesday, Deal said he was frustrated by the “antics” of Republicans seeking higher office and said he would still seek to salvage a tax break for Delta. But he said he couldn’t veto a measure that also amounted to a sweeping tax cut for residents.

It would be a major undertaking for Delta to relocate its hub and headquarters—after all, Atlanta is home to the busiest airport in the world—but it’s pretty ridiculous that the NRA has convinced these politicians that denying 13 people discounted airfare is worth the risk of losing the massive benefits Delta brings as one of the state’s biggest employers.

Georgia is eager to keep the airline. The Atlanta airport, Hartsfield-Jackson, is the busiest in the world and connects the city and state to the global economy.

“Delta and Georgia need each other,” said Seth Kaplan, managing partner of Airline Weekly.  “Atlanta is what it is because of that airline hub.”

Delta employs 33,000 people in Georgia, and contributes $43.5 billion to the state economy each year.

Before the Senate killed the tax break this week, Governor Deal said the exemption would help “keep Georgia competitive as a major international hub of commerce.”

In the wake of Georgia’s petty pout-rage and retaliation, other states are offering up themselves as Delta’s new home, though, again, it’s highly unlikely this will cause the nation’s second largest airline to relocate. 

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