Federal Small Brewer Excise Tax Bill Introduced in Senate

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On Wednesday, March 9, legislation seeking to enact a graduated beer excise tax rate of $3.50 and $16.00 for America’s small brewers was introduced by U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). Joining Senators Kerry and Crapo were 17 of their Senate colleagues who signed on as original co-sponsors.

S. 534 mirrors the provisions contained in last session’s S. 3339 which gained the support of 28 U.S. Senators. Specifically, S. 534 would reduce the small brewer rate on the first 60,000 barrels by 50 percent (from $7.00 to $3.50/barrel) and institute a new rate $16.00 per barrel on beer production above 60,000 barrels up to 2 million barrels. Breweries with an annual production of 6 million barrels or less would qualify for these tax rates.

This bipartisan bill is the result of the continuing efforts of Congressional representatives, the Brewers Association (BA) and individual small brewers to ensure America’s small breweries are given the best chance to remain strong and competitive.

The BA believes the provisions in this legislation will help strengthen the smallest brewers and support their efforts to maintain and generate jobs in today’s challenging economy and, for larger small brewers, it represents a means to support significant long-term investments and job creation by growing their businesses on a regional or national scale.

More information on this legislation may be found on the BA’s resource page.