But the Kentucky legislature sure can be log-headed. They have raised the tax on booze again, and Kentucky already had the third highest booze taxes in the nation. I could go on, but Eric Gregory, the President of the Kentucky Distillers Association, says it all pretty well here. Some excerpts:
Our state leaders should evaluate the entire revenue base and propose solutions that will stabilize our economy for years to come, not derail an industry that's on a roll. Raising alcohol taxes is a short-term fix with long-term consequences -- lost jobs, higher prices for consumers and yet another competitive disadvantage for one of Kentucky's signature industries.
Is there any other industry with a product that's taxed at least five times before it reaches the consumer? Has the legislature considered the long-term damage to small businesses and our hospitality industry in this grab for new revenue? And finally, is this any way to treat a thriving signature industry that's been so good to Kentucky? The answer is an absolute "no."
In Kentucky, the bourbon industry provides more than 3,200 jobs, pays more than $115 million in state and local taxes, and has planned capital investment of more than $100 million that will benefit the commonwealth for decades.
The bourbon industry understands that the state and country are facing a fiscal crisis. Many other industries are asking for bailouts and government help. But bourbon is not. We're just asking legislators to do no harm during these difficult times.
Be reasonable: leave bourbon alone. Hasn't it done enough?