Barr Introduces The Aged Distilled Spirits Competitiveness Act of 2013

Advocating for Jobs in One of the Commonwealth's Signature Industries

June 10, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, June 11, Congressman Andy Barr will introduce The Aged Distilled Spirits Competitiveness Act of 2013, legislation correcting a provision of the U.S. tax code that leaves bourbon distillers at a competitive disadvantage against other sectors of the liquor industry.

“I am confident that with the right trade, tax, and regulatory policies, Kentucky's bourbon distilling, bottling and tourism industry is poised to enter a new era of growth and job creation for the people of this Commonwealth,” said Congressman Andy Barr.  “That is why I am introducing the Aged Distilled Spirits Competitiveness Act of 2013, which would amend the tax code to end the inequitable tax treatment of aged distilled spirits such as bourbon.”

Barr’s legislation provides a level playing field for U.S. bourbon producers by amending the tax code to exempt the “aging process” from normal inventory rules so that it qualifies as a business inventory expense.  This would allow bourbon distillers to deduct expenses related to creating the inventory and the indirect costs that are allocable to the production during the aging process instead of waiting anywhere from 2 to 20 plus years after investing in a barrel of bourbon to take the deduction.

“I am proud to have the support of original cosponsors and my fellow Kentucky Congressmen Hal Rogers, Ed Whitfield, John Yarmuth, and Brett Guthrie as we promote the Commonwealth’s bourbon industry that brings in billions of dollars in economic activity, supports over 9,000 jobs, and produces significantly more state and federal revenue than foreign-produced competitors.”

What others are saying about the Aged Distilled Spirits Competitiveness Act:

“The filing of this bill is an important step to the growth of the bourbon industry.  Removing a measure that discriminates against bourbon will allow all distilleries to better compete against all other spirits, both domestically and internationally.  It will also allow all of us to distill more bourbon, which unfortunately is in short supply due to measures like this, the aging required, and growing demand.  I commend Congressman Barr for his willingness to stand up for Kentucky’s bourbon industry.  We look forward to working with the Congressman and the rest of Kentucky’s federal delegation to continue to grow the bourbon industry. ” - Mark Brown, President and CEO of Buffalo Trace Distillery which has operations in Franklin County, Kentucky.

“Resolving the capitalized interest issue is one of the top priorities of Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry, and we applaud Congressman Barr’s leadership on this critical measure. Bourbon is a growing worldwide symbol of Kentucky craftsmanship and tradition, and it is one of the Commonwealth’s most valuable and recognizable exports. This tax provision, however, limits our legendary distillers’ ability to competitively manufacture and promote their products on an international scale, which restricts job growth and further investment in the Bluegrass. The 15 members of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, which produce 90 percent of the world’s Bourbon, thank Congressman Barr for being a champion of our signature industry, and we look forward to working with him to protect our iconic brands and creating a level playing field so we can better compete abroad.” - Eric Gregory, President, Kentucky Distillers’ Association.