Students protest fuel tax bill outside airport

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Students are protesting against a proposed bill that Clayton County school officials say could dramatically impact their budget.

HB 821 is a proposed legislative decision that school officials say would prevent Clayton County from collecting taxes on aviation fuel purchased at and/or sold by the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The passing of the bill would remove nearly $20 million annually from Clayton County, as well as CCPS budgets, the county said.

Channel 2's Craig Lucie was at the airport Tuesday, where dozens of students blocked the entrance to Delta's world headquarters to show their support in protesting a bill that would take away nearly 20 percent of the district's revenue.


"For them to see that we are strong. We won't stop until their is a solution for those problems that are detrimental to our community and state of Georgia," said Daniela Calix.

They held signs that read, "Don’t steal ($)18 million from our students."

Gov. Nathan Deal supports the bill because he said it would make more routes cheaper for airlines and create more nonstop international flights.

"Our goal ultimately is making sure no student and the school system is not injured through changes of amount taxes of being paid," said Delta spokesperson Anthony Black.

Another Delta spokesperson sent in an email saying they've been working to find a solution to the collection of jet fuel taxes under the county's local option sales tax for education, which are a violation of federal law and FAA policy.

A parent said that $18 to $20 million is divided between the district and county.

"The other 10 million to 12 million is county government tax money the services in Clayton County will change," said Charlton Bivins.

Students had lunch at the Delta museum and heard from Delta executives to work toward a solution for the loss of funds.