Kentucky bourbon-makers toast bill phasing out barrel tax

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — In the years it takes Kentucky bourbon to mature in new oak barrels, producers face two certainties: They lose a portion of the aging whiskey to evaporation and pay a tax on the containers. Now they’re going to get relief from one of them. Kentucky’s legislature voted to completely phase out the property tax on the value of barrels of aging spirits. The action came at the end of this year’s session, and Gov. Andy Beshear signed the measure. It was toasted by distillers but left a bitter taste among local leaders whose communities rely on the tax money from distilling operations.