The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) reached 50 percent support in the U.S. Senate yesterday, with 51 co-sponsors to date. The bipartisan legislation, which was enacted into law in December 2017, was reintroduced in February by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). The current legislation is set to expire at the end of this year and the reintroduced bill will make the current federal excise rate language permanent.
“Today marks an important milestone for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act and for the small brewing industry across America and it would not be possible without the tremendous support from our champions in Congress,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association. “CBMTRA is incredibly bipartisan. With 28 Democrats, 22 Republicans and one Independent as co-sponsors in the Senate, and 86 Republicans and 70 Democrats in the House, support for the bill demonstrates the immense impact the federal excise tax has had on America’s small and independent brewing industry, empowering these small businesses in an extraordinary way.
Since the enactment of CBMTRA, 99 percent of small brewers have realized a 50 percent reduction of their federal excise tax, enabling members to make necessary investments in their businesses, including improving health care and benefits offerings, buying new equipment, and hiring additional workers, bringing 2018 industry job totals to more than 150,000.
Pease added, “The federal excise tax saves the industry nearly $80 million annually, providing much needed stability in a competitive market. We are hopeful that this consensus legislation will be extended or made permanent before the end of the year.”
The legislation, which was also reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) in February, creates a more fair and equitable tax structure not just for the small and independent brewing industry but also for the greater beverage alcohol industry, its producers and their consumers, empowering owners to continue to invest in their businesses and contribute greatly to local and national economies and communities across the country.