Among the bills House leaders are considering is one that would recreate a tax break for Delta Airlines that was eliminated in 2015. KENT D. JOHNSON /kdjohnson@ajc.com

Tax breaks that help Delta, others, move through the Georgia House

Bills that would make it cheaper for Delta Air Lines to buy fuel and for big yacht owners to get repairs done in Georgia are among several tax breaks moving through the General Assembly.

The Delta and big-boat owners’ tax breaks come at a time when legislators are also moving to assure that the state can collect taxes from people who buy goods online, have ignored legislation to raise the state minimum wage and are considering a bill that could raise taxes when you buy a used car.

Lawmakers typically pass a dozen or so special-interest breaks every year, sometimes cutting big money from the tax bills of chosen businesses or industries, usually with the promise of creating more jobs or “leveling the playing field.” Many such bills are currently working their way through the House Ways and Means Committee or awaiting action by the full chamber. Meetings of the tax-writing committee are packed with lobbyists either hoping to get a tax break or wanting to make sure changes aren’t made in tax law that hurt their clients.

“It shows the state Capitol is a place where special interests, rich people, look to legislators to help them out,” said state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, who has unsuccessfully pushed minimum-wage legislation for years.

The legislation that could help Delta Airlines with its fuel tax tab was filed a few weeks after it reported a $4.4 billion profit last year. The bill to make repairs and retrofitting of big boats and pricey yachts cheaper for their owners is designed to spur creation of a big-boat repair and maintenance industry in Georgia.

To read more about the bills, check out myajc.com

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will again have Georgia’s largest team covering the Legislature. Get complete daily coverage during the legislative session at myAJC.com/georgialegislature.

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