On June 20, 2019, the Ways and Means Committee held a markup of H.R. 3301, The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019, a tax extenders bill which includes a one-year extension of the language that recalibrated federal excise taxes (FET) for breweries, wineries, and distilleries.
Under H.R. 3301, the FET recalibration, which is currently set to expire on December 31, 2019, would be extended by one-year through December 31, 2020. The Brewers Association (BA) and other beverage alcohol trade associations appreciate the inclusion of the FET recalibration language in the bill and recognize the positive benefits it has had for breweries, wineries, and distilleries, and the communities they serve.
According to a survey of BA members, brewers have been using the money they have saved due to the recalibration to re-invest in their businesses, including hiring new employees, and increasing employee benefits and charitable donations. In 2018, the first year the bill went into effect, small and independent breweries created 15,000 new jobs.
The markup is the first of many steps in passing legislation. During this initial phase, congressional committees and subcommittees debate, amend, and rewrite proposed legislation. The next step will be for H.R. 3301 to be voted out of committee, after which, it will go to the floor where the entire House will vote on the bill. From there, the legislation will move to the Senate where Members will begin their own the debate and possibly change part of the legislation.
Having the FET recalibration language included in H.R. 3301 is a positive step forward. Since the FET recalibration went into effect, the BA has advocated for its extension or permanence, and will continue to do so through its support for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that is backed by more than half of the U.S. Congress, which would make the FET recalibration permanent.