Legislation that would reduces the taxes small brewers pay has now been introduced in both chambers of Congress.
The Senate bill, S. 534, was introduced on March 9 by U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). S. 534 would reduce the small brewer tax rate on the first 60,000 barrels by 50 percent (from $7.00 to $3.50/barrel) and institute a new rate $16 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.
The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act, H.R. 1236, was introduced by Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) Tuesday. Like its Senate counterpart, the House’s Small BREW Act would enact a graduated beer excise tax rate of $3.50 and $16.
“With the economy sputtering, Congress must create conditions that allow small businesses to become more competitive, protect existing jobs and create new employment opportunities,” Rep. Gerlach said.
Promoting support for the legislation, Brewers Association president Charlie Papazian said, “The 1,700-plus small American breweries account for about five percent of all the beer enjoyed in the United States and 50 percent of brewery jobs. The bipartisan support the Small BREW Act engenders will help assure a positive impact on agricultural, manufacturing, hospitality and distribution jobs for the future.”