ANDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56) – House Bill 5, the bourbon barrel tax legislation was signed into law Friday morning by Gov. Andy Beshear.

This means over the next 20 years, almost $250 million in taxes coming from aging bourbon barrels will slowly decrease to zero. That means millions will stop going to schools and cities across the state.

“$250 million, I agree with ya, that’s too much money, but I also see on the city, county, school system side, and taxing district side and sheriff’s departments, that zero is not acceptable,” said Sen. Jimmy Higdon, (R) District 14.


Anderson County Judge Executive, home to four roses and wild turkey distilleries, is prepared to get creative in order to keep providing services that citizens depend on.

“As we have seen a record number of investments throughout the state and in our community alone, as their expanding and growing, the growth now and we like to see the growth, but without the potential revenue that we had, again that’s going to be very challenging to overcome that,” said Judge Obrey Gritton.

Higdon who opposed the original bill and voted no on Thursday’s version is watching and hoping for the best, “The best case scenario, is that the bourbon industry, their crystal ball is correct. That potential tax would’ve gone to $250 million a year, that means there’s a lot of barrels of bourbon in Kentucky and the bourbon boom continues.”

Community leaders are also considering their options, “I think this is where counties, cities, any taxing districts are going to have to get very creative and very definitive on where we put our money and where it’s best spent, but I am not a proponent of raising taxes just to offset that,” said Gritton.

Both sides said time will determine the overall impact of House Bill 5.