Jack Daniels Distillery Targeted For New Tax

Tennessee’s Jack Daniel distillery, celebrated for years in folksy advertising, is being targeted to pay more taxes.

How about a bar tab of up to $5 million?

A proposal approved by the county council in Lynchburg, Tenn., site of the distillery, asks the Tennessee legislature to authorize a local referendum on whether the business should pay that much in new taxes on barrels it fills with whiskey.

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

Distillery officials say they already do their civic and fiscal duty, paying $1.5 million annually in local property taxes in the county.

Referendum supporters say the company, owned by Louisville, Ky.-based Brown-Forman Corp., should do more.