Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

How a court ruling could help Delta recoup some of its jet-fuel taxes

Last month, the state Legislature voted to abandon a tax break on jet fuel sales that would have saved Delta about $40 million a year -- all because of the airline’s attitude toward the NRA.

But the airline still has a chance to recoup some of those costs, thanks to a recent court ruling. Stay with us here:

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals this week dismissed a lawsuit by Clayton County seeking to allow it to continue to collect airport fuel taxes that the Federal Aviation Administration has tried to block. 

That amounts to about $18 million annually from fuel taxes that the county splits with the school board. Locally, this is a big deal.

County officials say they still believe they can win the legal case in the long run, but the court’s decision not to pick a side was a blow that could force Clayton lawmakers to the negotiating table.

That’s because Gov. Nathan Deal had set aside about $27 million to compensate Clayton over the next three years -- only if the county lost the case.

That money could still be available to the county, but we imagine it might come with some strings attached. 

Remember: Deal’s office strongly supported the Delta tax break, and the governor pledged to find other ways to save the airline money after the incentive was scuttled.

An agreement by Clayton to stop levying the fee in exchange for access to that $27 million state fund could be part of the plan.

Insider’s note: This item was ripped from the Jolt.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.