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"They've always been taxing us to death over the years," said Jimmy Russell, master distiller at Lawrenceburg, Ky.-based Wild Turkey, moments after pouring out an entire bottle of bourbon into a pile of melting snow.
Beer and bourbon trucks circled the Capitol all morning. A few hundred people holding signs and wearing stickers gathered in the Rotunda to shout their opposition.
But lawmakers on the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee weren't swayed. They're staring down a projected $456 million revenue shortfall for the next fiscal year. They approved the tax measure, which includes doubling the state's cigarette tax from 30 to 60 cents a pack.
It wasn't quite the Boston Tea Party. The proof was a little higher. Kentucky bourbon industry officials stood shoulder-to-shoulder Tuesday and poured spirits on the state Capitol's front steps to protest a proposed 6-percent sales tax on all booze.