ATLANTA - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said in his office at the Capitol Wednesday he will sign House Bill 918 whether it includes a jet fuel tax break for Delta or not because it’s his elected duty to do what is right for all Georgians.
He also says eliminating the jet fuel tax by a different means will happen and it is non-negotiable.
When it comes to other states courting the airline to fly its business elsewhere, here’s what the governor says about one of the states largest job providers: "I think Delta knows better than that ... Personally, I've said to the CEO - we didn't start this."
Delta’s Saturday morning tweet started the controversy. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s response a few days later sparked controversy at the Capitol. Wednesday, Gov. Deal placed some blame on the pressures of the Lt. Governor’s gubernatorial run.
"Sometimes you get caught up in the heat of the moment and the context of a political campaign and people are urging you to take positions and say things that if you really had thought about them a little longer you might not have said and you might not have done,” Deal said.
Based on what the lieutenant governor had to say Wednesday, it doesn’t sound like he regrets his stand against Delta.
"Had they treated everyone in terms of their discounts fairly we wouldn't be in this situation. But instead, they decided to single out the NRA and their membership,” Cagle said.
Despite the day’s tax talk blame game, the governor emphasized the $5 billion tax cut over five years is the day’s biggest story. He says he plans to sign the bill into law as soon as it makes its way to his desk.
"We value our airline industry in this state. We do not want to find ourselves in a non-competitive environment where airlines would be more tempted to fly out of other hubs rather than our own here at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport,” Deal said.