THE "SMALL BREW ACT" GETS A BOOST FROM NY SENATOR
Two pieces of legislation, both aimed at lowering taxes levied on each barrel of beer produced by brewers, have been competing in the U.S. Congress for several years. This may be the year one of the two bills is finally passed.
** The Beer Act, or Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act of 2013, is supported by the Beer Institute, a trade association representing large brewers, importers and a few smaller brewers. Under the Beer Act, small brewers (brewers producing less than 2 million barrels of beer a year) would pay no federal excise tax on the first 15,000 barrels produced; $3.50/barrel on barrels 15,001 to 60,000; and $9.00/barrel on barrels 60,001 to 2 million. Large brewers and all beer importers would see their rate drop from the current $18/barrel to $9/barrel on all barrels produced.
** The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act of 2013 (H.R.494), aka the "Small Brew Act," is a bit more modest in terms of reform and is supported by the Brewer's Association, an organization representing craft brewers. If passed, the Small Brew Act would reduce the tax on the first 60,000 barrels of beer brewed at any US brewery from $7 to $3.50; and from $18/barrel to $16/barrel for barrels 60,001 to 2 million. The tax on all barrels over 2 million would remain unchanged at $18/barrel.
On August 6 and again on August 13, 2013, Senator Charles Schumer raised the hopes of those supporting the Small Brew Act when he expressed his strong support for the Small Brew Act while visiting several small breweries in his home state of New York. The Senator claims he is joining more than 20 bipartisan colleagues to reintroduce this bill to provide tax relief to an industry in which everyone involved agrees, regardless of the bill they support, is sorely needed and long overdue.