Legislation introduced in the U.S. House earlier this month aims to cut the federal tax paid by small beer brewers by half.
The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act) seeks to reduce the rate from $7 to $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels up to 2 million barrels produced by a brewer. (A barrel is equal to 31 gallons.) The rate is $18 per barrel after two million.
All of the state’s breweries produced fewer than 60,000 barrels in 2013, said SC Brewers Guild executive director Brook Bristow, and the proposed reduction would cut those breweries’ and brew pubs’ taxes in half.
The reduction would “allow our 20 breweries and 14 brewpubs much-needed tax relief to grow their businesses and create jobs,” said Bristow.
Bob Pease, CEO of the Brewers Association that supports craft brewers, said, “While small brewers pay the same business and employment taxes as other business categories, they are also burdened with an industry-wide federal and state excise tax which impedes their growth. Now is the time to recalibrate the excise tax to foster growth and employment where it is primed to happen – among our country’s small and independent brewers. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure the passage of this fair and meaningful bipartisan legislation.”
Similar legislation was introduced for the third time in 2013, but died in the House Committee on Ways and Means, according to Brewbound craft beer news. The 2013 bill had 181 House cosponsors and 46 in the Senate – however, none from South Carolina, according to Bristow.
The Beer Institute, which represents breweries of all sizes, is reportedly poised to introduce legislation that also addresses a reduction in the federal tax.