View Full Version : Taxation...and Bourbon...

02-10-2005, 00:09
When I see a Inter Office Memo posted on the board...I know, some serious stuff is going on. The last one that I saw was on 9-11...Not that they don't occur but when it makes it way to the bottling house bulletin board it's serious enough that Max wants our attention.

The Subject, Gov. Fletcher's Proposed Distilled Spirits Tax Increase....

Part of this memo--->As most of you probably know, as part of the budget Governor Fletcher has proposed adding an additional 6% tax on the sale of beverage alcohol. And, as I'm sure you can appreciate, at a time when the state is already imposing a tax on spirits that is 50% higher than the national average, this increase could potentially damage Kentucky's Distilling Industry...

I am glad this memo was posted because working full time and going to school, I was totally unaware of this issue.

To make a long story short, the entire work force at Heaven Hill was given the opportunity to write their Senator and Representative and voice their opinion on the Governor's proposed tax increase...We were allowed time to write both of our State elected officials.

I wrote my letters and asked both of my state representatives to vote "No" on this proposed tax.

We are taxed out the rear in this county...Nelson County occupational tax, (with cap)...Bardstown occupational tax-->no cap<---Meal tax...and God only knows what else is taxed upon me without my knowledge...This, coupled with the "regular" tax on my home, cars...is just beyond me for someone living in a small town, living a small town life but paying all this for what?...Good Grief...I can't breathe for all the stench of taxation...

Bettye Jo

02-11-2005, 08:35
I watched Bill Samuels (spoksman on our side) speak to Kentucky's lawmakers on this tax issue. I could see Fred Noe and Jimmy Russell by his side.

Here is a link to the Courier Journal (http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050211/BUSINESS/50210023) with more about this tax proposal.

Bettye Jo

02-11-2005, 10:20
This quote from David Williams, R-Burkesville, made me want to sock him in the mouth:

"I don't think it will impact sales at all," Williams, R-Burkesville, said. "I believe that if anyone buys enough beer or liquor that a 6 percent sales tax would impact their lifestyle, that they need to consider how much beer or liquor they're drinking."

Honestly, what business of his is it how much or often people drink? Or to determine that 6% will not impact someone's lifestyle unless they are over-imbibing.

What an arrogant blowhard.

02-11-2005, 10:37
Ya know...it's incredible what our goverment leaders don't know.

Bill Samules, was trying to make the point that we "already" pay massive amounts of taxes...The Representative, was not listening to what was being said...

I will have to re-check my figures but the last time I asked the question about how much tax does Heaven Hill pay?...

The answer....The average was 2.5 to 3 MILLION $$$$ Dollars a week!...Note...that does not say a month...or a year...that is the amount for one week! I can only imagine how much Jim Beam pays or BF...

Bettye Jo

02-11-2005, 15:32
That quote is wrong in many ways, including what has already been pointed out by others.

Economically it is wrong because any student of economics at even the freshman level knows that the demand for nearly every commodity is elastic. For that matter, the good ol' boys at the barber shop and the local coffee shop know the same thing in different words, even without benefit of a college education, unless they've been duped by certain politicians. When the price to the consumer (and that includes taxes) goes up, less will be sold/consumed.

Even for those rare commodities for which the demand is inelastic (at least in the short run) a price increase via taxation is not without effect. If the commodity is, let's say, insulin (back in the day when people paid their own medical costs) and the total amount consumed remains constant in the face of a taxation-induced price increase, then those impacted by the price increase will either consume less of other commodities, or their savings will decrease (or their debt will increase, which is really the same thing, taken to the extreme).

In short, even in the best (least bad?) case the tax which is directed at the alleged sinner, or at least the person whose so-called "lifestyle" Rep. Williams holds in such disdain, actually falls upon others. It affects the producers, both the owners and the employees, and everyone who has a stake in the business, including their suppliers. In light of his quote, if he knows this, then he's too dishonest to deserve public office; if he doesn't, then he's too ignorant.

Yours truly,
Dave "Not so bad in the arrogant blowhard department, himself" Morefield

02-11-2005, 15:47
...if he knows this, then he's too dishonest to deserve public office; if he doesn't, then he's too ignorant.

Damn, Dave -- you must hang out with a better class of politician than I'm accustomed to here in Tennessee. I don't expect the politicians here to know anything except whatever they think will get them reelected -- and they only know THAT until the public's sentiments change.
We, too, have a whiskey industry here, but that doesn't mean the so-called 'sin taxes' aren't automatically raised when the state decides it needs more money. As one-time Louisiana Sen. Russell Long once stated: "Don't tax you, don't tax me -- tax that feller behind that tree." If it comes down to taxing real people directly, or institutions or industries -- well, the bourbon distillers may find those oak barrels too small to hide behind.
I hope this tax fails. I enjoy not paying it on my KY purchases. But I wouldn't be too sanguine about it.

02-12-2005, 05:35
Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nin'teen for me

Cause I'm the tax man http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/70358-devil.gif
Yes I'm the tax man

Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all

Cause I'm the tax man http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/70358-devil.gif
Yea I'm the tax man

If you drive a car-car I'll tax the street
If you try to sit-sit I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk I'll tax your feet

Well I'm the tax man http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/70358-devil.gif
Yea I'm the tax man

Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more

Cause I'm the tax man http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/70358-devil.gif
Yea I'm the tax man

Now any advise for those who die (tax man)
Declare the pennies on your eyes (tax man)

Caues I'm the tax man http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/70358-devil.gif
Yea i'm the tax man

And you're working for no one but me (tax man) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/70358-devil.gif

Sounds like a song?

02-13-2005, 10:13
You nailed it! That should be the end of this conversation. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif


02-18-2005, 08:53
That should be the end of this conversation.

No it's not http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I received this letter in the mail yesterday. I hope that speaking out in opposition to this tax makes a difference. Just sitting back and letting this go thru without a fight (and that's the jest I have gotten from a few folks) is beyond me. Look what happened to the tobacco industry. I've heard our industry referred to as "Tobacco's evil twin"...

In my opinion, I believe that the spirits industry, is the next target. If folks don't voice their opinion when such a tax is issued then it will float right thru and the hand will be in you face for another round. If this goes thru, other states will follow Kentucky's lead. Our product, is the "Native Spirit"...

I am glad I wrote those letters. I know my vote counted when I voted for David Floyd. He took the time to write to me http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif and he's on our side. I wrote to Senator Dan Kelly also. I have not heard from him http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif.Kentucky state sales tax is already there (attached to the price of spirits). You can't "see it" but it's there! House bill 571, resolved this problem (KY not getting the sales tax money) by adding the tax at the time of sale between wholesaler and retailer...

It takes just a little time to write a letter and put it in the mail. I prefer a hand written letter but a email will do just fine. Our government leaders won't know what people want if they don't verse our opinion.

Bettye Jo Boone
Heaven Hill Distilleries
1064 Loretto Road
Bardstown, Ky 40004

02-18-2005, 10:30
Bettye Jo,

I occasionally write to my elected officials. Not once have I received a personal reply, one that actually responded to the points I raised, such as the one you received. Invariably the reply is so generic that it barely refers to the topic, much less the content of my letter.

You must have made quite an impression.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

02-18-2005, 17:11
You must have made quite an impression.

Made an impression on me, and I wish I had a state representative like that guy.

02-19-2005, 13:28
Bettye Jo,

Great work getting your state legislator to take notice! As others have already said, even though they almost always send bac a reply, it is usually difficult to tell that it even relates to the issue you were trying to bring up.

I hope you didn't take my comment too seriously - I tried to indicate my lack of seriousness with the "wink" icon on my post. I also note your "grin" icon on your reply.


02-21-2005, 18:45
I have been following what's going on in Frankfort during this session of the General Assembly. My Representative is, David Floyd (D-Floyd) http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I really don't understand how this stuff works but I did see where it passed one house.

The first part of this emergency stuff reads that a increase from 9% to 11% on alcohol... HB272 (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/05rs/HB272.htm) The original "hidden" sales tax was 9%...

Scrolling down, I can see where Representative Floyd, introduced the HFA (5 D-Floyd Amend KRS 139.470 to continue the sales tax exemption for the sale of distilled spirits, wine, and malt beverage not consumed on the premises licensed for their sale.

Then...I scroll down to the bottom and read...HFA (8 D-Floyd Restore current 9% wholesale rate on beer wine and distilled spirits ...I clicked on the HFA (8 ------->you can see where he strikes the 11% and replaces it with a 9%...

There is a list of dates and what has happened so far...

the last part...3rd reading...passed 96-4

It's not over yet...it still has to pass another house.

Bettye Jo

02-21-2005, 20:28
As I understand it, they are compromising and will add 2% at the wholesale level, and not add the 6% at the retail level. If you smoke however, they are coming after some of your money. And of course 2% at the wholesale level on alcohol as well. I think you've said it well before, the tax rod...........