February 28, 2018 4:00 PM
Governor Nathan Deal is scheduled to hold a press conference this afternoon at 5pm from his office. If you want to tune in live, it will be broadcast here.
Let’s set the table for what is expected, even though no official reason for this press conference was given.
The Governor has issued a proposal to reform Georgia’s tax code. In addition to cuts to personal rates, the sales tax on jet fuel was eliminated. Not “Delta’s” jet fuel, but all jet fuel. However, to be fair, Delta pays more of that specific tax than anyone else. There are federal implications of collecting this tax that the state in the past and local governments (**cough**CLAYTON COUNTY**cough**) haven’t been following. The state has also been systematically eliminating “taxes on inputs” to make it cheaper to operate businesses here, such as the elimination of tax on electricity to large manufacturers. As such, the Governor’s office believes that they are on strong, solid ground for keeping Georgia competitive.
But then, Delta decided the way to promote “fairness” was to break an existing contract with the NRA. Because “fair” in modern political parlance means whoever supports the current media narrative gets their way and anyone who disagrees is evil. Great timing there, Delta.
You may not have noticed, but we’re also at the official kickoff of statewide elections. State Senator Michael Williams was already calling this “crony capitalism”, despite all airlines getting the benefit. Casey Cagle then decided not to chide Delta for choosing some of its customers over others, but for “attacking conservatives”. It’s a subtle, but not insignificant difference.
SOOOO….given that the entire national media is fixated on “Guns are bad”, and anyone that defends them or the NRA is worse, Georgia is in the spotlight not for being “Number One Place to do Business”, but instead for our candidates for Governor fighting each other on national news to see who can punish one of our state’s largest private employers the most.
In the midst of this, The Senate has stripped the jet fuel tax elimination from the House measure. The House has indicated they are favorable to that change should the bill come back without it.
Nathan Deal isn’t running for re-election, or for any other office. He does, however, take a bit of pride in his record. And he can’t be happy about Georgia’s current political theatrics being tossed about for national media ridicule. I mean, they might have TV’s and the internet in Seattle, after all.
Thus, while I’m not sure what the presser is about, I really am only wondering this: Does the Governor take the “knock some heads together” approach, or does he play the role of elder statesman making an effort to let cooler head’s prevail in what started out as, and absent Delta’s poor timing should still be, a debate about fundamentals of tax reform.