Jack Daniel's distillery targeted for more taxes

October 23, 2011 - 2:40 PM
Taxing Jack

FILE - This Nov. 27, 2009 photo shows people viewing barrels of aging whiskey while on a tour of the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. A Lynchburg resident is spearheading a proposal that asks the Tennessee legislature to authorize a local referendum requiring the distillery to pay a tax on each barrel of whiskey it produces. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's Jack Daniel's distillery has celebrated its small hometown of Lynchburg for years with folksy advertising.

Now local officials want to hand the company a bigger bar tab. How does $5 million sound?

A proposal approved by the Moore County Council asks the Tennessee legislature to authorize a local referendum on whether the business should pay that much on a new barrel tax.

If approved, the proposal could be a substantial help to local government, whose annual budget is $3 million. They would get every last drop of the tax, so to speak.

Distillery officials say they already do their civic and fiscal duty, paying $1.5 million annually in local property taxes and helping fund public facilities.