In its third week of committee discussion, the Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013 sailed out of the House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee on March 27, and the Senate Finance Tax Subcommittee on March 25.
With support from the Tennessee Malt Beverage Association, Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild, thousands of concerned Tennesseans and small businesses across the state, the campaign to fix the beer tax has shed light on a policy hindering business growth since the 1950s.
“We are one step closer to fixing Tennessee’s beer taxes, which will allow more local breweries to flourish and will improve the selection of craft beers available to Tennessee consumers.” — Linus Hall, president of the Craft Brewers Guild and owner of Yazoo Brewery in NashvilleThe Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013, sponsored by Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) and Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), changes the current price-based tax policy to a more fair and business friendly volume–based tax. Currently, Tennessee leads the nation with an effective tax rate 12 percent higher than even No. 2 Alaska and ratcheting higher every year with inflation.
“It is past time for a change to this unfair tax policy, and today we are one step closer to reform,” Sexton said. “With this reform, Tennessee is positioned for economic growth, ready to open the door for new businesses while helping existing businesses and offering a better experience for consumers.”
National and craft brewers are excited about the immediate, positive impact that the reforms promise.
“We are one step closer to fixing Tennessee’s beer taxes, which will allow more local breweries to flourish and will improve the selection of craft beers available to Tennessee consumers,” said Linus Hall, president of the Craft Brewers Guild and owner of Yazoo Brewery in Nashville.
Burgeoning momentum will carry the legislation before the full House and Senate Finance Committees next week.
Statewide supporters of the campaign have rallied in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Tri-Cities, with more than 1,000 Tennesseans turning out.