If you want to get someone’s attention just tell them their taxes will be going up 400% starting on January 1, 2020. That is cause for an Un-Happy New Year unless the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is not renewed.
The most recent call to action for the beverage alcohol coalition that includes members from Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), American Craft Spirits Association, Brewers Association, Beer Institute, Wine Institute, WineAmerica, and the United States Association of Cider Makers got the attention of spirits makers and lawmakers. The latest push motivated nearly 2,000 individual to make 6,000 engagements between with their Senators and Congressman.
Participants from every state in the country called on Congress to prioritize the passage of the legislation, which makes permanent the two-year federal excise tax reduction on distilled spirits, wine, beer and cider products. The daylong push resulted in more than 6,000 engagements with congressional offices through emails, phone calls and social media channels.
“Craft beverage producers are found in every corner of the country and are active members of their communities, spurring billions of dollars in economic development and tourism,” the coalition said. “In less than three months, the tax reduction that has enabled countless producers to reinvest in their businesses and communities will expire. This critical piece of legislation has broad bipartisan support with 288 cosponsors in the House and 70 in the Senate. Congress must act now to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.”
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Absent congressional action, beverage alcohol producers will face an increase in their federal excise taxes starting January 1. For some small producers, the tax hike could be as high as 400 percent. The threat of such a steep spike in costs already has created great uncertainty for small craft producers and will further compound the strain on companies, small and large, being burdened by tariffs from unrelated trade disputes.
For startup distilleries that opened their doors after January 1, 2018 they have never paid the higher federal excise tax. If this tax reduction does not get renewed it could have a chilling effect on these new business more than anyone.
If you missed out on the most recent call to action day you can still make your voice heard. Read our related story with the details of who to call by state.