As Delta Air Lines and the State of Georgia continue to fight over fuel subsidies in light of the recent NRA dispute, other states are actively courting Delta.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) February 27, 2018
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam:
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) February 27, 2018
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH):
Hey @Delta — Northeast Ohio would make a great HQ if you’re put off by Mr. Cagle’s authoritarian tendencies. Quality of life, infrastructure, and wonderful communities. I’d love to show you around! https://t.co/7Fsh9g0yAD
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) February 27, 2018
Finally, Randall Woodfin, the mayor of Birmingham, Alabama:
— Randall Woodfin (@WoodfinForBham) February 27, 2018
The likelihood of Delta moving headquarters out of Atlanta is about as likely as a snowball’s chance in hell, but it is worth noting Newton’s third law, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
I said yesterday “if I’m a betting man, I expect Delta to make a conciliatory gesture, perhaps even the restoration of its NRA corporate discount, in order to secure its lucrative tax break on fuel.”
Today I’m not so sure. Of course Delta has never seen a government subsidy [for itself] it didn’t like. I figured Delta would quietly restore NRA discounts before losing $50,000,000 in tax breaks. Now I question that. In fact, the more I think about it the more I realize how stubborn Delta is in just about every area of its operation…SkyMiles especially.
Not that it matters too much…Delta will still be profitable with or without these tax breaks and is highly unlikely to leave Atlanta.
But the overtures from outside Georgia are important reminders that companies are not powerless or necessarily chained to one state.