The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), the no-brainer compromise on federal excise taxes in the brewing industry that all stakeholders agree on, is still hanging around and gaining interest. The Brewers Association brought together brewery owners, employees and guild leaders in Washington, D.C., last week to continue to lobby for its support.
The BA says the additional advocacy efforts have paid off after the CBMTRA added its 218th cosponsor and is now supported by the majority of the U.S. House of Representatives. 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.
Does this make it any more likely to actually move through the clogged toilet that is Congress right now? No. But the longer it hangs around and bides its time, some day, when Washington starts to do stuff to improve the country again, this has a good shot at passing.
What’s this bill do again?
- 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.
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.