State lawmakers have effectively eliminated a tax on aging barrels of bourbon in a move to protect one of the state's signature industries.
Kentucky spends that tax money on public education, making it difficult to eliminate the tax completely. This week lawmakers approved a tax credit that would offset the cost of the tax. Public schools would still get their tax money, but overall state revenues would decrease by about $14 million in five years once the tax credit is fully implemented.
Kentucky distillers have increased their inventory of aging bourbon by more than 1 million barrels since 1999. State tax collections have more than doubled since then.
The law requires Kentucky distillers to spend the savings from the tax on improving facilities in Kentucky, including remodeling to promote tourism.
Michael Veach is a man who knows his bourbon. Not just because he enjoys Kentucky's signature spirit, but because he's also one of the nation's foremost bourbon historians.
Veach is associate curator of special collections at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, and the author of the new book Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Tradition. In his recent interview with WKU Public Radio, Veach told us about the many tall tales he had to debunk surrounding the history of bourbon.
Here are a few web audio extras featuring Veach that we didn't have time to include in the interview we aired this week:
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but an appeals court says a liquor bottle with a red dripping wax seal by any name other than Maker’s Mark would be illegal. Noting that “all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon,” an opinion released by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says that only the Kentucky-made bourbon can carry the distinctive bottle topper.