Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday afternoon that he would sign the $5 billion tax relief bill despite the state Senate’s decision to remove Deal’s jet fuel tax exemption.
The Senate rules committee voted on an amended version of the tax bill which removes the jet fuel sales taxes exemptions part of the state budget on Wednesday, which Gov. Deal supports.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who leads the Senate, fired back at Delta, the state’s largest employers, this week for removing their longstanding travel discounts for National Rifle Association members.
“We were not elected to give late-night talk show hosts fodder for their monologues,” Deal said, in response to recent national headlines over criticism of Delta Air Lines from state leaders. “We are called on to listen to all voices and draft policies to benefit Georgia.”
Deal stated that tax break for jet fuel does not follow federal compliance and he further explained that the discussions to kill any tax legislation puts the entire $5 billion tax savings package at risk for Georgia families and businesses. Gov. Deal said he looks to sign the historic tax legislation into law. However, parts of the legislation does not meet federal compliance on jet fuel tax exemption for local communities.
“The legislation that we are talking about today, does not fix our compliance issues. We will still be in violation of federal statue. Therefore, I am committed to finding a pathway forward for the elimination of sales tax on jet fuel which is going to be non-negotiable. Finding a solution to that problem will require further discussion, so I am continuing open dialogue with all stakeholders. Including Georgia’s largest employer, Delta Airlines,” said Gov. Deal.
Deal plans to sign the bill without the jet fuel tax exemption because he feels that Georgia’s families and businesses deserve extra dollars in their pockets along with keeping the state competitive for global commerce despite the political spat over Delta.
“If we wish to remain the No. 1 state in the nation to do business and remain a competitive hub for global commerce, we need to address the concerns of everyone in a dignified manner and with a maturity our people deserve,” Deal said.