We know what you’re thinking — man, what a dull time in politics. Can’t remember the last time I read something about it. Are there any big issues that even need addressed? Looking to inject some life into the Beltway snoozefest, a few representatives reintroduced our old friend, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (S.236/H.R.747). Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI) in the House, with 12 original sponsors in the Senate and 13 in the House, are the people to thank.
“Small and independent craft brewers are among the leading manufacturers in our country, and over the last few decades have created thousands of well-paying jobs in communities across the United States. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is synonymous with economic development and job creation,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “With the beginning of the new Session of Congress, we are working hard to build support for this bipartisan legislation, which, if enacted, will help breweries all over the country generate more jobs and pour more money back into the economy.”
Explain this thing to me again
For the uninitiated, the comprehensive bill seeks to recalibrate the current federal excise tax structure for the nation’s brewers, fostering economic development and job growth in the brewing industry.
In addition to recalibrating excise taxes, the Craft Modernization and Tax Reform Act would ease a number of burdens for brewers, including simplifying label approvals and repealing unnecessary inventory restrictions. Specific tax provisions of the bill include:
- Reducing the federal excise tax to $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers producing fewer than 2 million barrels annually.
- Reducing the federal excise tax to $16 per barrel on the first 6 million barrels for all other brewers and all beer importers.
- Keeping the excise tax at the current $18 per barrel rate for barrelage over 6 million.
The Brewers Association has played an instrumental role in championing the bill through Congress and collaborating with colleagues in the beer, wine and spirits sectors to generate wide support for the legislation. If this doesn’t work, our sources tell us the industry may petition Trump to ban excise taxes from the country. Either way, fingers crossed.