Georgia scraps Delta Air Lines tax break after NRA clash


Washington (AFP)

The US state of Georgia on Thursday scrapped a multi-million-dollar jet fuel tax exemption that would have benefited Delta Air Lines, punishing one of the country's largest carriers for severing ties with the National Rifle Association.

The southern state's Republican controlled legislature removed the exemption, reported to be worth $38 million for the Atlanta-based Delta, from a tax-cut bill that then passed the two chambers of the Georgia assembly, a legislative aide said.

The move followed a threat by the state's Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, who said he would "kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta" unless the company fully reinstated its relationship with the NRA.

"Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back," Cagle wrote in a tweet on Monday.

Delta, facing mounting pressure, was among several US corporations that cut ties with the powerful pro-gun lobby in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Florida.

The airline said that while it supports Americans' constitutional right to bear arms, it ended its NRA-related discounts to reflect the company's "neutral status" in the highly-charged national debate over gun control.