Tax Reform Update from President & CEO Bob Pease

On Friday, December 1, the United States Senate passed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. This legislation includes a two-year version of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA), which will lower the federal excise tax for breweries, wineries and distilled spirits producers.

This bipartisan legislation—with 54 Senate co-sponsors and 299 House co-sponsors—is a large step forward for America’s small brewers, located in almost every congressional district in the nation.

The bill, if enacted, would cut the federal excise tax rate in half, going from $7.00/ BBL to $3.50/ BBL for barrelage under 60,000 BBLs, for domestic breweries producing fewer than two million barrels a year.

The next step is for the House and Senate to vote for the bill to go to conference committee, a group of bipartisan representatives and senators, who will reconcile the differences in the legislation that passed both chambers. The House is expected to vote to go to committee today, and the Senate sometime this week.

There is still work to be done, but we are one step closer to getting CBMTRA passed in the 115th Congress.

For nearly a decade, the Brewers Association (BA) has worked diligently on behalf of its members to lower federal excise taxes. We are very appreciative of the support CBMTRA has received to date and will be working to ensure that the legislation is passed in the 115th Congress.

Please keep in mind that the BA and its members have had no input on the larger political issues in play on the tax reform bill. The BA, as an institution dedicated to advancing the interests of small and independent brewers, has taken a position only on the provisions affecting our members, such as CBMTRA.

Bob Pease is president & CEO of the Brewers Association, the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers with more than 3,500 brewery members. In his role, Pease is responsible for the strategic development and tactical execution of the association’s mission in the areas of membership development, events, media relations, and government affairs. He has led the charge to strengthen the small brewer’s voice in Washington, D.C.

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