The Crew received some promising news from the Brewers Association late last week. No, really, good news from Washington D.C. arrived in our mailbox. The BA has been working with members of Congress to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. Now it appears that they will actually get this thing through both houses. We could ramble on, but instead, just figured you all should read the press release as well. (UPDATE: All members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation, Democrats and Republicans, have pledged their support, per the NM Brewers Guild.)
WASHINGTON, DC — Leaders of the Beer Institute, Brewers Association, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, American Craft Spirits Association, Wine Institute and WineAmerica released the following statement after Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) became the 51st member of the United States Senate to officially endorse the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (S. 236). Senator Inhofe co-sponsoring the bill means that now a majority of members from both the House of Representatives and United States Senate support this legislation.
“America’s small craft brewers are incredibly proud and appreciative of the strong bipartisan and bicameral support that we have received from the United States Congress,” said Bob Pease, President and CEO of the Brewers Association. “We are small Main Street manufacturers located in virtually every Congressional District in the country, and employing more than 130,000 Americans. We truly are an American success story built on the passion that our small brewers have for their craft and their communities. Members of Congress see that passion, determination and success, and want to foster it. That is why more than half the United States Congress has co-sponsored the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. We are hopeful that this consensus legislation can be enacted this year.”
“Beer is bipartisan, and I want to thank the broad coalition of Senators and House members from across the country for supporting this common sense legislation that will provide critical tax relief to America’s brewers and beer importers,” said Jim McGreevy, President and CEO of the Beer Institute, which represents brewers, beer importers and supply industries. “The beer industry helps to support more than 2.2 million American jobs in every congressional district across the country. I look forward to Congress taking up the bill and moving it to President Trump for his signature so that brewers and beer importers can continue to invest in their businesses to meet consumers’ demand for beer.”
“As the distilling sector continues its growth with more than 1,200 operating distilleries nationwide, lawmakers clearly appreciate the important role these distilleries play in creating jobs, boosting tourism and supporting agriculture,” said Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz. “Passing this much-needed tax reform legislation will spur further investment and job creation by reducing the excessive tax burden on distillers small and large.”
“California wine is a signature industry for our state and nation. This legislation will simplify and reduce the tax burden on our 4,700 wineries, which produce 85% of U.S. wine,” said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “As the very epitome of value-added agriculture, wine and vineyards represent a long-term commitment uniquely tied to the land, generating jobs, tax revenue, trade, tourism and international appeal.”
“Wine is truly an all-American beverage produced in all 50 states. There are now more than 10,000 wineries with grapes from over 670,000 acres preserving precious agricultural land, The American wine industry’s total economic impact of nearly $220 billion includes 1.7 million jobs and $75 billion in wages,” said Jim Trezise, President of WineAmerica, the national association of American wineries. “We are grateful that so many Senators see wine as an economic engine as well as a delightful beverage that enhances the quality of life.”
Introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) in January, the bipartisan legislation creates a fair and equitable tax structure for brewers, winemakers, distillers and importers of all beverage alcohol, which will allow them to continue to invest in their businesses and grow jobs across the country.
H.R. 747, identical legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Ron Kind (D-WI), has also garnered 281 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.
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After a year in which members of the New Mexico legislature tried to raise taxes on breweries, it is awfully nice to see the federal government step up to help small businesses. We will check in with our local breweries later this week to see what these bills could mean around here.