State to end col­lec­tion of lo­cal sales tax on jet fuel

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Ben Nadler Associated Press

AT­LANTA — Ge­or­gia has asked ven­dors to stop col­lect­ing lo­cal sales tax on jet fuel, just months af­ter the lieu­tenant gover­nor ef­fec­tively killed a broader sales tax ex­emp­tion to pun­ish Delta Air Lines for elim­i­nat­ing dis­count fares for Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers.

The Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Rev­enue on June 1 asked ven­dors to stop col­lect­ing lo­cal sales tax on re­tail sales of jet fuel be­gin­ning July 1. It said the move was needed to en­sure Ge­or­gia com­plies with fed­eral law and Fed­eral Aviation Ad­min­is­tra­tion poli­cies on jet fuel sales.

State Rev­enue Com­mis­sioner Lynne Ri­ley said in a state­ment the change would help avoid the pos­si­bil­ity of sanc­tions and “pre­serve the tens of mil­lions of dol­lars of an­nual fed­eral air­port as­sis­tance” the state re­ceives.

The rev­enue de­part­ment’s move came in re­sponse to a 2014 re­vi­sion to FAA pol­icy that lim­its the taxes that can be col­lected on aviation fuel.

Gov. Nathan Deal soon af­ter an­nounced the state would make over $ 28 mil­lion avail­able to com­mu­ni­ties with air­ports that stand to lose tax rev­enue, through a grant from the De­part­ment of Com­mu­nity Af­fairs.

“In light of DOR’s an­nounce­ment, which brings Ge­or­gia into com­pli­ance with the fed­eral govern­ment, I’ve al­lo­cated $ 28 mil­lion to as­sist the 48 lo­cal gov­ern­ments af­fected by sus­pen­sion of the lo­cal sales tax,” Deal said in a state­ment.

He said the grants were based on t he monthly av­er­age of each com­mu­nity’s tax and the re­main­ing time the tax is in ef­fect, and will be dis­bursed by DCA by the end of this fis­cal year.

Clayton County, home to H arts field-Jack­son At­lanta In­ter­na­tional Air­port, will be awarded nearly all of the grant money, get­ting close to $27 mil­lion.

Clayton had pre­vi­ously filed a fed­eral law­suit claim­ing that loss of the tax rev­enue would be a bur­den to the county and its school dis­trict, but the law­suit was dis­missed by the 11 th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in April.

Chatham County, home to Sa­van­nah- Hil­ton Head Air­port, will get the sec­ond largest grant at just over $ 480,000.

Deal had ear­lier pro­posed the im­ple­men­ta­tion of state and lo­cal sales tax ex­emp­tions on jet fuel, which would have saved Delta Air Lines, one of the state’s largest em­ploy­ers, mil­lions of dol­lars a year.

But in Fe­bru­ary, Lt. Gov. Casey Ca­gle a nd hi s Repub­li­can col­leagues in the state Se­nate killed that tax break to pun­ish Delta f or ending a dis­count pro­gram for NRA mem­bers.

The up­roar, which drew na­tional me­dia at­ten­tion, be­gan when Delta stopped of­fer­ing fare dis­counts to NRA mem­bers in the wake of the Fe­bru­ary school mas­sacre i n Park­land, Florida.

Ca­gle, now vy­ing t o be­come gover­nor, is locked in a con­tentious runoff for the GOP nom­i­na­tion with Sec­re­tary of State Brian Kemp that will be de­cided July 24.

The Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Rev­enue on June 1 asked ven­dors to stop col­lect­ing lo­cal sales tax on re­tail sales of jet fuel be­gin­ning July 1. It said the move was needed to en­sure Ge­or­gia com­plies with fed­eral law and Fed­eral Aviation Ad­min­is­tra­tion poli­cies on jet fuel sales.

/AP-John Baze­more

A Delta Air­lines jet de­parts Harts­field Jack­son At­lanta In­ter­na­tional Air­port in At­lanta. Ge­or­gia has asked ven­dors to stop col­lect­ing lo­cal sales tax on jet fuel, just months af­ter the lieu­tenant gover­nor ef­fec­tively killed a plan to end state sales...

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