“We are entitled to more money from the only industry in the county – Jack Daniel’s distillery,” said Charles Rogers, a 75-year-old retiree and self-described “concerned citizen” of Moore County – home to Lynchburg and Jack Daniel’s.
Rogers wants the proposed tax to pay the bills for new schools, roads, bridges, even a new water treatment plant.
Rogers says Moore County is “entitled” to more money because Jack Daniel’s used bucolic images of small-town life in Lynchburg to sell its product. And as Norman Rockwell made a living off of his iconic images of Americana, so too should Lynchburg, according to Rogers.
“They (Jack Daniel’s) created the image of this little old hamlet down here being the place where this fantastic whiskey is being made,” Rogers said. “And the people didn’t realize what was going on. They were being marketed all over the world as ‘the place.’”
In the same way a film company would pay ‘usage’ fees for a location, Rogers believes Jack Daniel’s should too. It’s a way, he says, of giving back to the community.
That idea infuriates Jack Daniel’s management. The distillery is Moore County’s largest employer. It accounts for a third of its tax base. And already, nearly 60 percent of the price of a bottle of Jack Daniel’s is in some form of tax. General Manager Tommy Beam says where does it stop?
“It’s a job killer because it ups our costs. We’re competing in a global marketplace,” Beam said.
The tax would add about 3.4 cents to the price of a bottle of JD. While that doesn’t seem like much on the surface, considering the distillery sells more than 100 million bottles of whiskey every year, it quickly adds up to about $4 million a year. That’s a million dollars more than the entire county budget. And a cost, says Beam, that could affect the company’s growth.
Read more: Jack Daniel's Faces More Taxes From Cash-Strapped Hometown In Tennessee | Fox News