As we reported on Monday, March 11, the Tennessee Beer Tax Reform Act was making its way to the Tennessee General Assembly. Word is coming in that the act passed through the House Local Subcommittee and is on its way to full local committee next week.
By a 7-1 vote, the committee advanced legislation that will change Tennessee’s 1950s era price-based wholesale tax on beer to a volume-based calculation. According to campaign representatives, only Rep. Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga) voted against it, as he isn’t a fan of most acts involving alcohol.
Current policy has led Tennessee to have the nation’s highest effective beer rate, 12 percent higher than No. 2 Alaska. The rate will rise higher and higher every year – a fact that led Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) and Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) to sponsor the Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013.
“Today was an important step towards reforming a tax that is working against Tennessee,” said Sexton. “The current tax rate is punishing businesses by hindering their growth and making it hard to do business in this state. The subject may be beer, but the issue is an outdated tax structure.”
Next up for the Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013 are Senate and House committee votes the week of March 18.
The Fix the Beer Tax campaign held a rally event on Monday, before the act’s introduction, to show support. Approximately 400 consumers and lawmakers showed up in support. Adam Jones of the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild put together a video of the event, highlighting a few of the act’s supporters. Check it out above and then head over to Fix The Beer Tax website, Facebook and Twitter for the latest Tennessee Beer Tax news. Craft Brewing Business will keep you updated as news develops.