The Dec. 1 Day of Action in support of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) resulted in more than 37,000 contacts with federal legislators in support of passing the bill and making the current federal excise tax (FET) rates permanent.
The Brewers Association, state brewers’ guilds, and breweries from across the country were joined by other alcohol producers and suppliers in their efforts to encourage congress to pass the CBMTRA before the existing excise tax rates expire on Dec. 31, 2020.
The push to make the FET rates permanent has been ongoing since the language recalibrating the FET rates was included as a two-year provision in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The CBMTRA has proven to be very popular in Congress and has the support of 351 representatives and 77 senators, making it one of the most broadly supported bipartisan pieces of legislation in Washington, D.C. The bill has also found support across industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, and retail.
Small and independent breweries have benefitted greatly from the current rates, using the money that they saved to reinvest in their businesses and hire new employees. At the end of the 2019, more than 8,300 craft breweries directly employed 160,000 people, and 25,000 of those jobs were created in 2018 and 2019.
Making the FET rates permanent and providing breweries with certainty is a top priority, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. If the current rates are allowed to expire, a majority of breweries would see their FET increase by 100%, which would be devastating at a time when they are working to recover.
Breweries can still contact their elected officials about the CBMTRA. The form for CBMTRA outreach will remain open until the end of this legislative session.
The CBMTRA Day of Action is one of the ways that the Brewers Association is advocating for our members in Washington, D.C. Our efforts are also focusing on the next round of coronavirus relief; passing the RESTAURANTS Act to provide grants for breweries and the hospitality industry; providing more funding for the Payroll Protection Program and allowing small businesses to apply for additional loans; fixing tax and regulatory issues in the CARES Act; extending Section 1112 of the CARES Act; and encouraging a one-time tax credit for perishable goods.