Jack Daniel's fights possible Tennessee whiskey barrel tax

Jack Daniel's fights possible Tennessee whiskey barrel tax
(Source: AP Graphics Bank)

By JONATHAN MATTISE
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Jack Daniel's wants state lawmakers to ensure that distillers aren't subject to Tennessee property tax on whiskey barrels, which the company says it hasn't had to pay at least since Prohibition ended eight decades ago.

The whiskey giant is pushing the barrel tax exemption bill after an auditor for Moore County's property assessor recently determined the company's barrels are taxable. A legislative fiscal review says the tax would cost Jack Daniel's $2.8 million this year.

Jack Daniel's master distiller Jeff Arnett says the barrels are inventory because they're sold for other uses afterward. He says the tax would hurt Tennessee distilleries and would be against the state Constitution.

Ralph Cooper, the Tennessee County Services Association's lobbyist, says the audit found Jack Daniel's hadn't self-reported the barrels for personal property tax.

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