The Latest: House gives jet fuel tax break another chance
ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the Georgia legislature (all times local):
A $40 million tax break on jet fuel is getting a second chance in the Georgia legislature, having easily passed the state House.
The House voted 141-18 on Thursday to approve the tax exemption. It now goes to the state Senate, which led efforts to defeat the measure in February. Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and GOP senators said they were punishing Delta Air Lines for ending fare discounts for members of the National Rifle Association.
Gov. Nathan Deal salvaged the tax exemption over the summer with an executive order. The law requires legislators to ratify that order now that the governor has called them back for a special session.
The version now before the legislature would expire when the fiscal year ends June 30.
The state House has approved a $200 million tax credit to encourage timber growers to replant acreage ravaged by Hurricane Michael.
The House voted 157-2 Thursday to approve the tax credit sought by Gov. Nathan Deal during a special legislative session. The credit will be allowed for growers of commercial timber and pecan orchards damaged or destroyed by the storm in October.
State officials estimate the tax credit would cost $75 million in the 2020 fiscal year that starts July 1, then $95 million the following fiscal year. The credits would be capped at $200 million total.
The measure must also pass the state Senate.
The state House has overwhelmingly approved $270 million in funding to aid communities in southern Georgia devastated by Hurricane Michael.
The House voted 162-1 Thursday to pass the relief money sought by Gov. Nathan Deal, who called lawmakers into a special session after the storm struck in October.
The new funding includes $55 million in emergency aid to farmers whose cotton, pecan and vegetable crops were ruined by the hurricane. It also has $20 million to help timber growers clear vast acreage of trees snapped and shattered during the storm.
House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, a Republican from Auburn, said: “This may well just be a start to what we need to do.”
Only one lawmaker, Republican Rep. Matt Gurtler of Tiger, voted against the spending. The budget bill now goes to the state Senate.
Lawmakers in the Georgia House are preparing to vote on $470 million in hurricane relief proposals in addition to reconsidering a controversial tax break for airlines.
The House votes were scheduled Thursday on the third day of a special legislative session called by Gov. Nathan Deal.
The governor wants $270 million for emergency aid and debris cleanup in communities of southern Georgia devastated by Hurricane Michael. He’s also calling for $200 million in tax incentives to encourage owners of timberland in the storm’s path to replant their ruined acreage.
The House will also reconsider a $40 million tax break on jet fuel. The Senate killed the perk earlier this year to punish Delta Air Lines for ending fare discounts to members of the National Rifle Association.