Bill would permanently exempt aging process from the production period for distilled spirits
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2019
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressmen John Yarmuth (KY-3) and Andy Barr (KY-6) introduced H.R. 4284, the Aged Distilled Spirits Competitiveness Act, legislation to permanently correct the U.S. tax code to level the playing field for bourbon distillers, allowing them to deduct interest expenses associated with production in the year it is paid, not when the bourbon is bottled and sold.
“This common sense legislation would allow those producing America’s only official native spirit to better invest in their products, their workers, job creation, and the overall success of the bourbon industry,” said Yarmuth. “Good bourbon is the combination of hard work, premium ingredients, and time. Distillers here in Kentucky should not be penalized for the time it takes to make a product so widely known as the best in the world.”
The Yarmuth-Barr bill is the House companion legislation to S. 2251, the Advancing Growth in the Economy through Distilled (AGED) Spirits Act, introduced by Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul earlier this year.
“I am proud to support this signature Kentucky industry by introducing bipartisan legislation to level the playing field for our native spirit,” said Congressman Barr. “Kentucky is the birthplace of bourbon and now has more than 70 distilleries in operation. It’s imperative we continue to support our signature business by permanently fixing the tax code to stimulate economic growth and ensure our bourbon producers can be competitive with other sectors of the spirits industry.”
Yarmuth and Barr serve as Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Bourbon Caucus, founded by Yarmuth in 2009 to maintain and strengthen the bourbon industry in the United States. Bourbon is an $8.6 billion industry in the state of Kentucky, generating an estimated 20,100 jobs with an annual payroll of more than $1 billion.
“Bourbon is a treasured signature industry in Kentucky, a thriving part of the Bluegrass economy and one of the Commonwealth’s most recognizable exports,” said Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. “But it takes years of careful aging and time-honored craftsmanship to produce the world’s best whiskey. The current federal tax code unfairly targets aged spirits like Bourbon, restricts job growth and investment back home, and harms our industry’s ability to compete abroad. Our growing membership would like to thank Congressmen Yarmuth and Barr for championing this issue. It’s time to pass the Aged Distilled Spirits Competitiveness Act and put Kentucky Bourbon on a level playing field with the world’s other whiskies.”
H.R. 4284 has the support of every member of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation, and text of the legislation can be found here.
Christopher Schuler (Yarmuth), 202-225-5401
Jodi Whitaker (Barr), 859-219-1366