Testifying before the Kentucky House Appropriations and Revenue Committee in Frankfort yesterday, TJ Graven, director of investor relations for Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corporation, criticized the Governor's Alcohol Tax Plan as being unfair and detrimental to the economic competitiveness of Kentucky.

Graven noted that if the Governor's plan is approved it would give Kentucky - the birthplace and home of bourbon - the dubious distinction of being the highest taxing license state in America for distilled spirits.

"Distilled spirits are already the highest taxed consumer product in Kentucky. The administration proposal would make a bad situation much worse. It would subject off-premise sales of our products to triple taxation - once on the supplier level, once at the wholesale level and once at the retail level," Graven said.

He went on to label this approach as being "punitive" and contrasted it with California, which has the 44th lowest wine tax in the country, and Missouri - the home of Anheuser-Busch - which has the lowest beer tax in the nation.

"You do not create jobs and promote economic development by taxing home state products into oblivion," he said.