Tennessee Distillers Fork Over New License Fee

Tennessee Distillers Fork Over New License Fee

The Tennessee Department of Revenue is collecting a $1,000 license fee that for years - or perhaps decades - was not imposed. We understand that an application for this license is being prepared and will soon be added to the extensive list of licenses required of distillers.

The Revenue license is a remnant of the colorful past of Tennessee's liquor industry. After the repeal of Prohibition in 1937, Jack Daniels and George Dickel operated under licenses issued by Revenue. The Alcoholic Beverage Commission was not created until 1963.

We thought that the Revenue license was replaced by the ABC manufacturer's license - and apparently, for quite some time, Revenue agreed.

In the past few weeks, we have heard from several distillers that Revenue has asked for the $1,000 license fee, payable under the 1937 law. One source at Revenue indicated that an application is being drafted for the license. Revenue is taking the position that the $1,000 fee is due every year.

We will update when information about the new application is available.

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