America’s beer distributors are encouraging members of Congress to support state-based alcohol regulation and oppose proposals that they think would weaken the system. Beer distributors also are asking members of Congress to co-sponsor the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Reauthorization Act, which is necessary to coordinate support for federal efforts in the fight against underage drinking. The legislation also reaffirms the effective state-based regulation of alcohol.
As Congress considers proposals for tax reform, America’s beer distributors are encouraging Congress to pass comprehensive tax reform that ensures individual and corporate tax rates are reduced in similar manners; treats S corporations fairly; avoids the repeal of LIFO inventory accounting; makes permanent the increased expensing level of Section 179 business expensing and bonus depreciation allowances; and provides estate tax relief that would assist family-owned businesses, like independent beer distribution companies, in planning for the future.
Should Congress advance excise tax legislation, beer distributors are encouraging Congress to support legislation that reflects current industry structure and includes all brewers.
Additional policy issues discussed by beer distributors include full funding for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to ensure it can effectively regulate the alcohol industry in conjunction with the states; full funding of the Highway Trust Fund; tax credits for natural gas vehicles; review of the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines definition of a “drink”; multi-employer pension plan reform and withdrawal liability relief for small businesses.
Monday’s Legislative Conference program provided a look inside the industry with a panel moderated by Purser that featured American Beverage Licensees Executive Director John Bodnovich; National Association of Beverage Importers President Bill Earle; Beer Institute President and CEO Jim McGreevy; and Brewers Association CEO Bob Pease.
The panel focused on policy issues impacting the beer industry, including tax issues, trade practice enforcement and the importance of TTB funding. The discussion also highlighted the robust competition in the beer industry and the individual role of brewers and importers, distributors and retailers in a system that continues to provide more choice and variety for American consumers than anywhere else in the world.