Thursday, October 20, 2011

They Don't Know Jack

Did some folks over in Moore County forget their medication?:

The County Commission of Moore County has passed a resolution which asks the General Assembly to authorize a county referendum which, if passed, would allow for a $10 per barrel tax on every barrel of whiskey distilled in Moore County Since Moore County has only one legal whiskey distillery-which is, by the way, the most famous in the world-there is no doubt at who the tax is aimed. Since the Jack Daniel distillery would be responsible for some $5 million a year in new taxes under this proposal, in addition to the $1.5 million in local property taxes that they are already paying, one has to suppose that rather than pay a tax that is essentially targeted only at their business, since it is the only one of its kind in Moore County, the good people who distill Tennessee's most famous export will simply pass on this new tax burden to the American consumer of their whiskey-most of whom have never set foot in Moore County, Tennessee.

Standing in the way by both State law and longstanding custom is the Tennessee General Assembly. Now Republican-dominated (it wasn't in recent years' past), neither House nor Senate seems to have an appetite for taxation that is specifically targeted to one particular business. Further, the precedent that this kind of tax would create might bring about economic chaos, as counties look for ways to milk their principle industries without losing them. Those businesses which can leave such an environment would not hesitate to do so. Jack Daniel's Distillery is the largest employer in Moore County, and the "spin-off" jobs created from the still's successful operation provide many local people there with work who wouldn't otherwise have it in the worst economic climate since the 1930's. Do the people of Moore County really want to put that in jeopardy by milking the money from the cash cow that already feeds them?

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