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Tennessee lawmakers OK whiskey barrel tax exemption bill

Associated Press • Apr 24, 2018 at 8:35 PM

NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s Republican-led legislature has passed a proposal to exempt Jack Daniel’s and other distillers from property tax on whiskey barrels, a fee the company says it hasn’t had to pay at least since Prohibition ended eight decades ago.

On Monday, the House voted 78-12 for the bill by Republican Rep. David Alexander of Winchester. The Senate previously voted 30-0 for the proposal, so it heads to Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

Additionally, an opinion by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said the state constitution doesn’t exempt whiskey barrels from property taxes. The distillers have argued the Tennessee Constitution does shield their barrels from the tax.

A local audit recently deemed Jack Daniel’s barrels taxable. A legislative analysis says the tax would cost Jack Daniel’s $2.8 million this year.

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