American Airlines, which has its second biggest hub in Charlotte, is reportedly very concerned that state lawmakers might cut tax breaks on jet fuel in order to punish the company for its prominent opposition to HB2. The Charlotte Observer reports:
That’s according to an email Dana Fenton, Charlotte’s lobbyist in Raleigh, sent Wednesday to City Council and other officials in Charlotte, including interim aviation director Brent Cagle.
“American Airlines is on high alert as it is rumored that an amendment will be filed to eliminate the aviation fuel tax exemption,” wrote Fenton. “There has been increasing speculation recently that such a repeal would be attempted. Many in the NCGA connect such an amendment with the airline’s high profile call for repeal of House Bill 2.” […]
The company operates about 650 flights a day from Charlotte Douglas International Airport – more than 90 percent of the airport’s total – and employs 11,000 people based at the city. Statewide, American employs 14,000.
North Carolina lawmakers never fail to amaze—they just get worse and worse. After Paypal announced it was pulling out of the state, GOP lawmakers immediately trashed the company and have repeatedly done so since. Then the lawmakers reportedly started threatening corporate lobbyists, saying that their companies should zip it on HB2 or their legislative priorities might suffer. Now comes the continuation of that story with a specific company at risk of being hit with a precise policy.
It’s mind boggling, in a state that is already facing major economic fallout, that lawmakers are antagonizing major major employers. Just FYI, this isn’t the way it works—companies don’t stick around when legislators tell them to screw off. Perhaps we should be celebrating these brazen acts of anti-corporatism. But even if American Airlines is too invested to leave, the state can just forget about new business. It’s as if these guys are trying to permanently cripple the state’s economy.