Crow, Williams Urge House to Provide Permanent Tax Relief for Craft Beverage Producers

June 30, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Jason Crow (D-CO-06) and Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX-25) this past week led a bipartisan letter with 136 of their colleagues to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady urging a vote on H.R. 1175, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.

 

“Colorado and craft beverages go hand-in-hand. Our craft breweries, distilleries, and cideries help fuel tourism, employ thousands of Coloradans, and serve as community hubs. But the public health and economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus is putting many of these businesses at risk. This relief effort will give craft beverage producers the help they need to stay afloat and continue to be an essential part of our community,” said Congressman Crow.

 

“As a local, independently owned craft brewery, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been substantial on our business. We’ve had to close both of our tasting rooms and all bars and restaurants and as a result had to destroy a lot of beer that had become expired. Passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act will enable us to continue to keep our staffing levels and will help us recover from the devastating economic impact of the pandemic. I’m grateful for Rep. Crow’s leadership in helping support Colorado’s local craft breweries,” said Kevin Delange, co-owner of Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora.

 

“TX-25 is home to dozens of craft beverage producers and distilleries that serve as staples in our communities. Having already felt the devastating effects of COVID-19, a 400% tax increase on their growing industry next year would be catastrophic – not only to them, but to businesses who rely on them for support. I’m proud to work alongside these entrepreneurs to roll back regulations and burdensome taxes that put economic growth and Texas jobs at risk,” said Congressman Williams. “I want to thank Congressman Crow for joining me in urging House leadership to bring the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act to the floor so we can provide relief for this industry before it’s too late.”

 

The letter reads: “With the devastating impacts of COVID-19 sweeping across our country, craft beverage producers have been hit hard as nearly half of all revenue comes from tasting rooms and in person sales.

 

“Restaurant and bar closures have also had a tremendous impact on sales…Now more than ever, these businesses need certainty that they will not face a substantial tax increase in 2021 so that they can rebuild their businesses once this pandemic begins to subside without fear of further financial turmoil looming.

 

“Fortunately, Representative Ron Kind and Representative Mike Kelly introduced H.R. 1175, The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax reform Act. This legislation would make permanent the recalibrated Federal Excise Tax (FET) rates that were passed in 2017, again in 2019, and are set to expire on December 31 of this year.”

 

To view the full letter, please click here.

 

Quotes of support from craft beverage associations:

 

Beer Institute

 

“At a time when the economy and brewers are undergoing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Beer Institute thanks Reps. Williams and Crow and the more than 135 members of Congress for urging congressional leadership to make the current federal excise tax rates permanent for all brewers and beer importers, which would prevent a $130 million annual tax increase to our nation’s beer industry,” said Jim McGreevy, Beer Institute president and CEO. “Our nation’s brewers and beer importers operate in every corner of our nation—employing our neighbors, friends and family. Tax certainty will enable the American beer industry to weather the COVID pandemic and rebuild after so it can continue supporting American jobs and the economy.”

 

American Craft Spirits Association

 

“Today, our community of craft distilleries is at a crossroads," said Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO, American Craft Spirits Association. "As we slowly and safely crawl back from tasting room closures and the profound, sweeping impacts of COVID-19 on our businesses, we face the imminent threat of an unfathomable Federal Excise Tax hike come January 1, 2021, one that will certainly seal the unfortunate fate of many of our distilleries who are still struggling to recover, as well as the peripheral industries they support, including agriculture, tourism, and hospitality. Without permanent and immediate reform, the stability of this vibrant industry is bound to be paralyzed.”

 

Brewers Association

 

“America’s small and independent craft brewers are extremely grateful for the overwhelming bipartisan support for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act,” said Bob Pease, President and CEO of the Brewers Association, the national trade association for small and independent craft brewers. “We especially want to thank Reps. Williams and Crow for urging key House leaders to support making the provisions of CBMTRA permanent.  Making these recalibrated excise tax rates permanent would help provide certainty and stability to the more than 8,000 small and independent brewers located in all 50 states who are struggling to restart their businesses amidst a global health pandemic and economic crisis.”

 

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

 

“Distillers across the country have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with the closure of tasting rooms, restaurants and bars. Making the lower federal excise tax rates permanent will provide distillers with the certainty and liquidity they need to begin planning their recovery. The current financial uncertainty, coupled with the prospect of a steep tax increase in less than six months, makes it nearly impossible for distillers to be able to get their businesses back on track.  We call on Congress to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act and thank all in Congress who are working to highlight this important issue.” said Chris Swonger, President & CEO, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.