RICHMOND, Va. (WJLA) - Gov. Ralph Northam has invited Delta Air Lines to move to Virginia after Georgia’s lieutenant governor threatened to kill a lucrative tax break for the company over Delta ending its discount program with the National Rifle Association.
Northam tweeted a message to Delta on Tuesday, saying, “Hey @delta – Virginia is for lovers and airine hubs. You’re welcome here any time.”
Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle tweeted on Monday that he would use his position to kill a proposed sales tax exemption on jet fuel that benefits Atlanta-based Delta.
"I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA," Cagle tweeted. "Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back."
Delta said in a statement that it supports the Second Amendment and its decision "reflects the airline's neutral status" in the national debate over guns.
More than a dozen companies, including Metlife, Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Best Western, Wyndham and United Airlines have ended NRA partnerships since 17 students and teachers were killed in a school shooting in Florida.
Delta has been trying to move Georgia lawmakers to restore a $50 million sales tax exemption on jet fuel that would be a big benefit for the company.
The ACLU of Georgia criticized Cagle's threat and said it could hurt Atlanta's bid to become Amazon's second U.S. headquarters.
ACLU of GA Warns Lt. Gov Leg Against Imposing Ideological Litmus Tests— ACLU of Georgia (@ACLUofGA) February 26, 2018
"Politicians should not use taxpayer dollars to impose ideological litmus tests and punish organizations that express views that politicians dislike. Amazon should take note," Andrea Young, Exec Dir @ACLUofGA pic.twitter.com/AdSYh0qr7V
The Associated Press contributed to this story.