DISCUS

Kentucky Distillers: Governor's Alcohol Tax Plan Bad for our Business, Bad for Our Families

February 9, 2005 07:00 PM
Frankfort, KY – Master Distillers from Kentucky’s famed bourbon distilleries today addressed the Kentucky House Appropriations and Revenue Committee to explain why Governor Ernie Fletcher’s proposal to raise taxes on beverage alcohol would hurt Kentucky’s home industry, push consumers to purchase home-grown products in other states and potentially hurt their business nationwide. “By piling on an additional six percent burden, Kentucky’s tax on a bottle of our product would be the highest of any state in the country,” said Bill Samuels, President and CEO of Maker’s Mark Distillery at today’s hearing. “This would place some Kentucky retailers at a considerable tax disadvantage to the surrounding states of Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois.” Other bourbon companies are worried that the statewide tax could hurt their national business. T.J. Graven, who serves as Director of Investor Relations for the Brown-Forman Company, said today: “I am receiving calls from concerned shareholders and people in the investment community asking questions like: ‘Why are Kentucky distillers being treated this way in their own back yard?’” Fred Noe, seventh generation distiller for Jim Beam, expressed concern for his employees. “This industry is an integral part of our state’s history, passed down from one generation to the next. Many of my employees have been with us for decades and their families rely on the sale of our products. I simply cannot understand why the Governor has chosen to place an additional burden on this venerable state industry.” David Wojnar, Vice President of the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., said the Fletcher proposal would add a six percent sales tax on top of the state’s already high excise tax. “This would result in triple taxation and add a huge new burden on a home state industry that employs thousands of Kentuckians.” The bourbon industry brings in $2.2 billion in direct state economic activity annually. CONTACT: Public Affairs Department Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:
 

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