Jim Beam may build new warehouses near Boston

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County offers tax break if built

By Erin L. McCoy

Jim Beam Brands Company plans to build about 17 new warehouses, and some of them may in the Boston area. Nelson Fiscal Court approved a resolution to offer the company a 30-year property tax exemption if it chooses to build any of those warehouses in Nelson County.

Because Jim Beam’s parent company acquired the Maker’s Mark Distillery several years ago, the company is likely to locate its new warehouses in the Boston area and in Loretto, where Maker’s Mark has its distillery, Nelson County Judge Executive Dean Watts told Fiscal Court at Tuesday’s meeting. The plan is to build the warehouses by 2018, he said.

“So basically, what they’re doing is they’re trying to go back and forth between Marion and Nelson and see where the best deal is?” District 1 Magistrate Keith Metcalfe asked.

Watts acknowledged this was the case. However, he said bringing in more warehouses would be of great benefit to Nelson County.

“We would lose the property tax but we would gain the distilled spirits portion of the tax,” Watts explained, passing along Jim Beam’s estimate for how much more money the 16.6-cent distilled spirits tax could bring in with the extra warehouses. “It could mean to us, over a 30-year period, about $3.7 million in new revenue to the county.”

This amount does not include the tax revenue the Nelson County School District takes in from distilled spirits. This kind of revenue keeps other tax rates down, he added.

It’s still unclear exactly how many warehouses will be built in each location.

“They’re proposing a minimum of six warehouses in Nelson County,” Watts said. “That could change.” The estimate of $3.7 million in revenue is based on the six-warehouse scenario, he said.

Though Watts hadn’t heard any estimates of how many jobs the additional warehouses may create, he said he didn’t project it will create very many.

“Typically, warehouses will not create a lot of jobs,” he said. But he added they will provide security for the future of distilled spirits in Nelson County. “It secures the stability of the Booker Noe plant.”

The company hopes to issue $205 million in taxable industrial revenue bonds to fund the warehouses, Watts said.


Erin L. McCoy can be reached at emccoy@kystandard.com.