Brewers of Pennsylvania Beat Back Unfair Sales Tax Rates

On October 17, the Brewers of Pennsylvania (BOP) was successful in beating back a last minute push by Big Beer and the Pennsylvania Beer Alliance (PBA) to immediately implement an unfair sales tax rate at taprooms throughout the Commonwealth.

Thanks to the hundreds of brewery owners, customers, and friends flooding legislators’ offices with letters opposing such action, the General Assembly acted to allow the BOP to continue its ongoing discussions with the Department of Revenue and lawmakers to come to an mutually agreeable solution regarding the levying of sales tax at taprooms.

“Today, our members and supporters should feel proud to have been part of a strong, 36-hour advocacy effort that will allow us to continue to work with influential lawmakers and the Department of Revenue to devise an equitable sales tax situation that does not negatively impact our customers. While PBA went all out to achieve a competitive advantage over our small business owners, they failed to persuade enough lawmakers to take their side. As such, I look forward to working hard on behalf of our members over the next 6 months to bring about responsible and fair change to this policy,” said Dan LaBert, Executive Director of the BOP.

“I want to thank all of our owners and customers who took the time to contact their legislators. Because of your efforts, we can continue to fight this fight into next year and, mark my words, we will win this battle before July 2019.”

BOP President Chris Lampe

The BOP was successful last month in delaying the implementation of the Department of Revenue directive on sales tax applicability at taprooms, and the directive is now set to take effect in July of 2019. The BOP remains active with not only its Legislative Committee but also an Ad-Hoc Committee on Sales Tax Policy, and it continues to engage at all levels of government on this critical issue.

“I want to thank all of our owners and customers who took the time to contact their legislators. Because of your efforts, we can continue to fight this fight into next year and, mark my words, we will win this battle before July 2019,” said BOP President Chris Lampe of Weyerbacher Brewing.

The BOP Task Force on PA Sales Tax consists of BOP Members:

Trevor Prichett, Yards Brewing Co.; Chris Trgner, Troegs Independent Brewing; Scott Smith, East End Brewing Co.; Jason Lavery, Lavery Brewinig Company; Mark Edelson, Iron Hill Brewery; Chris Lampe, Weyerbacher Brewing; and Ted Zeller, BOP General Counsel.

ADDITIONAL INFO: Department of Revenue Sales Tax Bulletin

Acacia serves as brewers guilds manager on the Brewers Association Government Affairs team. Since 2011, she has been working to support the organizational development of more than 60 small non-profit U.S. state and regional brewers associations—also known as guilds. Currently based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, Acacia’s role includes traveling to 20+ states and over 80 craft breweries each year, attending Capitol Hill climbs, brewers guild meetings, various national and international brewing and association management conferences, regulatory agency conferences, and of course beer festivals.

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