Adding its 218th co-sponsor, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 2903) is now supported by the majority of the U.S. House of Representatives. The comprehensive, bipartisan bill — which is widely supported by the brewing industry — seeks to reform burdensome laws regulating America’s brewers and beer importers and recalibrate the current federal excise tax structure for the nation’s brewers, fostering economic development and innovation in the industry.
Rep. David Rouzer, who represents the 7th Congressional District in North Carolina, became the 218th member of the House of Representatives to officially endorse the bipartisan legislation.
“I want to thank Rep. Rouzer as well as the 217 Republican and Democratic House members from Maine to Miami who are standing with America’s beer industry and supporting legislation that represents a fair, broad and bipartisan solution to a decades-old problem,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute, which represents brewers, beer importers and supply industries. “The beer industry prides itself on the quality ingredients and dedication that goes into every pour. This legislation will build on that tradition by updating the antiquated tax code and regulations impacting the beer industry.”
The American beer industry supports 1.75 million jobs, which contribute nearly $79 billion in wages and benefits each year to American families and generate $253 billion for the U.S. economy.
“Beer is as bipartisan as it gets,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “Brewers large and small stand together in support of this critical legislation, Democrats and Republicans have shown the same unity. We’re grateful for the degree of support behind this bill, which will have a profound impact on the breweries in this country that are actively contributing to our culture and economy.”
The Brewers Association and Beer Institute are collaborating closely to pass the bill, which was introduced in the House by Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI) and has also been endorsed by Hop Growers of America, the Can Manufacturers Institute, Glass Packaging Institute, and the National Barley Growers Association.
Specific 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 over 6 million barrels.
- Reducing bonding and filing requirements for the 90% of American craft breweries that pay less than $50,000 per year in federal excise taxes.
- Expanding the list of ingredients that could be automatically included in beer without federal government approval.
- Allowing small, unaffiliated brewers to greater collaborate on new beers by giving them the flexibility to transfer beer between breweries without tax liability.
A complete list of Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act co-sponsors can be found here. The Senate companion bill (S. 1562), introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), currently has 43 co-sponsors.