Last week, after a heated debate and a 113-61 vote, the House passed a two-year sales tax break for Delta Air Lines on its jet fuel purchases.
Among the loudest opponents were Democratic lawmakers from Clayton County, home to Delta headquarters, which stands to lose $26 million a year from the tax break:
Rep. Darryl Jordan, D-Riverdale, was quoted as saying that the company did not approach anyone in the Clayton delegation about the exemption, and that the school system is trying to fill a $43 million deficit. (Of these two reasons, the snub is often the more important one in a status-conscious Capitol. No doubt House Republican leaders also failed to consult with Clayton Democrats.)
On Monday night, House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, R-Bonaire, in an interview with Nwandi Lawson, offered to resolve Clayton’s problem:
”If Clayton County is the least bit unhappy with contributing their SPLOST penny to keeping Delta Airlines headquartered here, my county we’ll take them and pay [Clayton] twice what they’re losing for the next 10 years. And we’ll take Delta into our county.”
But O’Neal lives in Houston County. And unless he’s ready to evict Robins Air Force Base to give Delta the proper runway space, we don’t see this happening.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider