Congressmen and Brewer Testify on Federal Excise Taxes

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Earlier today, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Revenue held a Member Day Hearing on Tax Legislation. All members of Congress were invited to testify in front of the committee about their proposals for improvements to the current U.S. tax system. Chairman Boustany (R-LA) opened the hearing by telling the participants that, “I look forward to listening to your bold fresh ideas about the best way to fix American tax code.”

Thirty-five members of Congress participated in the hearing. Four specifically mentioned lowering federal excise tax for alcohol producers.

Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN) the lead Republican sponsor of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), which would lower the federal excise tax for craft brewers, spoke about the benefit that passing this legislation would have for small businesses. He then invited Clint Roberts, CMO of Surly Brewing Company to testify on his behalf.

Roberts discussed the growth that Surly has experienced, their close to 300 employees and their plans for the future. When discussing the impact that the CBMTRA would have on their brewery Roberts said, “We look to continue to invest in our operation which will create a range of jobs and have broad economic impact. If we’re able to get our federal tax liability reduced we would put the money back into our company.” Representative Buck also mentioned this legislation, stating that, “This bill has brought together brewers of all sizes, and the tax relief afforded under the bill will provide the capital necessary for these businesses to grow.”

Representatives Pete DeFazio (D-OR) and Ken Buck (R-CO) also spoke about their support of the bill and the impact that it would have on the breweries, distilleries and wineries in their states. Rep. DeFazio stated that, “H.R. 2903 is not a special interest handout. It’s a commonsense proposal that will create jobs and generate investment for American small businesses.”

Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA) spoke on his states prowess when it comes to making wine, beer in liquor and his desire to see federal excise taxes updated and reformed.

Brewers Association President and CEO Bob Pease thanked the participants in today’s hearing for their hard work and efforts on behalf of the craft brewing industry.

The Ways and Means Committee welcomes public submissions for the record up to two weeks after the date of the hearing. Any brewers that wish to submit a statement of support should contact the Brewers Associations Federal Affairs Manager Katie Marisic.