<b>Georgia lawmakers pass tax cut bill punishing Delta for ending NRA discounts</b>

A Delta airlines plane on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Georgia lawmakers passed a state tax cut measure Thursday that left out a sales tax cut on jet fuel in a swipe at Delta Airlines after the carrier eliminted a discount for NRA members following the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

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A Delta airlines plane on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Georgia lawmakers passed a state tax cut measure Thursday that left out a sales tax cut on jet fuel in a swipe at Delta Airlines after the carrier eliminted a discount for NRA members following the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

With the battle over who has more clout at the Capitol - Delta Air Lines or the NRA - settled, the Georgia House and Senate overwhelmingly backed legislation to cut state income tax rates on Thursday.

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The final votes were largely a formality and gave Republican lawmakers and candidates what they wanted this election year - a chance to brag about cutting state income tax rates.

Gov. Nathan Deal has already committed to quickly signing the legislation into law. That will likely happen early next week.

House Bill 918 passed the Senate 44-10 and House 135-24 after Senate leaders stripped a provision to eliminate sales taxes on jet fuel - something Delta had coveted.

The jet fuel break - worth more than $40 million to Delta and millions to other airlines - got axed after the Atlanta corporate giant publicly nixed a discount for National Rifle Association members over the weekend.

Explore>> Related: Georgia Lt. Gov. threatens Delta after NRA decision

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the Senate's president and a top Republican candidate for governor, led the charge to kill the tax break after the NRA snub. Another Republican state senator and gubernatorial candidate - Michael Williams - dubbed the tax break corporate welfare before the Delta vs NRA tiff, and upped his criticism this week.

What was left of House Bill 918 was the main purpose of the measure: a cut in rates to eliminate what was expected to be a massive state windfall from the tax plan Congress passed in December.

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Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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