One of Delta's most important values is supporting the communities where employees live, work and serve. One of those communities is Clayton County, Ga., just south of Atlanta, where more than 5,000 Delta people call home.
Delta is Clayton's No. 1 contributor of property taxes. Delta pays more in taxes to Clayton County than any other county in the U.S.
Recent public statements made about Clayton County Public Schools and jet fuel sales taxes at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport were clarified in a memo to employees Tuesday from Chief Human Resources Officer Joanne Smith.
Delta has been in discussions with the school district for more than a year to find a solution to problems with the collection of jet fuel taxes under the county's local option sales tax for education. These taxes have been ruled to be in violation of federal law.
In 2014, the FAA ruled that local sales taxes on jet fuel must be spent to directly fund aviation. This ruling meant that any jet fuel sales taxes designated for other uses, including education, are out of compliance with federal law.
Nonetheless, Delta continues to pay this tax out of respect for the schools where many Delta people send their children. In 2017, the tax amounted to more than $8 million, and Delta is still paying the tax to Clayton County Schools even while an appeal over the ruling is pending.
"Delta will continue to work with Clayton County schools on this issue and we are committed to ensuring that no school project that depends on this local option sales tax for education will go without funding," Smith wrote in the memo.
Several hundred Clayton County schoolchildren and adults visited Delta's Atlanta headquarters campus Tuesday. They were invited inside and provided with food and an opportunity to tour the Delta Flight Museum.