Beverage Handbook

2015 Fact Book teaser

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Fact Book 2015 1 Executive Summary As the discrepancy increases between the major suppliers for spirits, wine and beer and the up-and- coming smaller suppliers of craft beer and spirits and small wineries, legislation is being proposed to even the playing field. Just this year, the Distillery Innovation and Excise Tax Reform Act of 2015 was introduced so that large and small distilleries could unite behind bi-partisan legislation. The new bipartisan bill is aimed to cut federal excise taxes on distillers of all sizes and has been introduced by Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) and the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA). The bill, HR 2520, the Distillery Innovation and Excise Tax Reform Act of 2015, which is supported by trade associations representing both large and small distillers, would cut the current tax rate of $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 100,000 gallons for all distillers. The bill sets a rate of $9.00 per proof gallon on all spirits above the 100,000 gallon threshold. Importantly, the two trade groups agreed that these rates should apply to all distillers regardless of size, and to imported spirits as well as domestic products. In the malt beverage industry, the Small BREW Act, a bill that McHenry and the Small Brewers Caucus supports, would cut that tax in half for the first 60,000 barrels. So instead of paying $7 for each barrel, brewers would pay $3.50. For every barrel past 60,000 up to 2 million, brewers would pay $16. After 2 million barrels, breweries would pay $18 per barrel. Any brewery that produces fewer than 6 million barrels of beer each year would be eligible for these rates. In addition, there's another bill in Congress targeting the beer business, the Fair BEER Act. Its backers say it would provide tax relief not just for small brewers, but for all brewers. The Fair BEER Act would eliminate the federal excise tax for brewers who produce up to 7,143 barrels. For every barrel between 7,143 and 60,000, brewers would pay $3.50 a barrel. For every barrel between 60,001 and 2 million, brewers would pay $16 per barrel. And after 2 million barrels, brewers would pay $18 per barrel. The Fair BEER Act also extends these tax rates to importing producers. State laws surrounding the sale of beverage alcohol also continue to be questioned regarding whether or not they are out of date with today's society. For example, Minnesota, which is one of the only 12 states in the country that still prohibit the sale of wine, beer and spirits on Sundays, a law enacted back in 1935, and consumers are looking to overturn that law. Recently, the MN Consumers First Alliance, a coalition supporting the Sunday sales launched a statewide campaign titled, "Why Not Sundays?" to promote legislative passage of Sunday sales in Minnesota siting that Sunday is the most convenient shopping day of the week. Time will tell what bills and laws will be revised but as the wheel 2014 in Review 2014 in Review

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