The governor for the state of Georgia, Nathan Deal, made the announcement on Monday that he would suspend the collection of the state-imposed sales tax on jet fuel. The move by Deal is in line with an earlier promise made to Delta Air Lines and other companies that use jet fuel for business operations that the General Assembly chose to reject during the 2018 legislative session.
The suspension of the jet fuel sales tax that provided the state with $39 million in revenue over the most recently ended fiscal year is effective as of Wednesday, July 1st. The development is expected to save Delta approximately $40 million annually.
The General Assembly will convene once again in January of 2019 and at that time will make a determination of whether or not to reinstate the sales tax on jet fuel. The code section used by Governor Deal to suspend the jet fuel sales tax is identical to the one former Governor Sonny Perdue used to stop the rise of sales tax on motor fuel at the onset of the 'Great Recession.'
Deal says that the sales tax on jet fuel was making it difficult for Georgia to compete in the industry with other states, most of which have much lower or no sales tax on the fuel. The jet fuel tax imposed by Georgia is the fourth highest in the country.
The General Assembly was believed to be on the verge of eliminating the jet fuel sales tax earlier this year before Delta made the decision to no longer offer discounted rates to members of the National Rifle Association. The decision was made by Delta in response to the mass shooting that took place at a Florida high school and seen to be an extremely problematic gesture to many in an election year.
Georgia conservatives were furious with the move by Delta and Republican candidates for governor immediately began to voice their opposition to the jet fuel sales tax exemption. The end result was the proposed tax break was killed by the legislative process in a matter of days.