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Alcohol manufacturers, importers push for permanent Excise Tax reduction
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Category: excise tax, alcohol, craft spirits

Alcohol manufacturers, importers push for permanent Excise Tax reduction


An important message from the American Craft Spirits Association regarding the Federal Excise Tax is below. This impacts every alcohol manufacturer and importer in the country. Please spread the word to make this tax cut permanent.

From the ACSA:

Brief recap of where we are now:

The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act was included as an amendment onto the tax reform bill (added by Rob Portman, R-Ohio) that passed in 2017.

That bill reduced Federal Excise Tax for the first 100,000 PGs removed from bond to $2.70 from $13.50 and to $13.34 for the first 22.13 million PGs, bringing craft spirits into parity with other beverage categories. 

If nothing happens, these reduced tax rates end on December 31.

ACSA is working with the other relevant trade groups, including Distilled Spirits Council, to drive efforts to make it permanent.

New bills to make this tax rate permanent have been dropped in both the House (HR 1175) and Senate (S 362); we are currently recruiting co-sponsors to put us in the best possible position with broad bipartisan support, so if a vehicle comes up that may move through Congress we will be positioned to be included.

How to support this effort:

  • Join the American Craft Spirits Association, if you haven’t already. We are already actively engaged in lobbying, and the more distillers we represent the stronger we are.
  • Join us in DC for the legislative fly-in on July 22-24 (details about how to register to follow).
  • Call your representatives in the House and Senate and ask them to co-sponsor, via the following steps:
    1. Lookup your representatives for your home, business, and any local vendors (such as farmers) that you work with (rep lookup)
    2. Find out if your representative was a co-sponsor of the previous iteration of the bill (the one that passed) using these links, click the “cosponsors” tab: (passed bill in senate) (passed bill in house)
    3. Find out if your current representative is a co-sponsor of the most recent bills by clicking the “cosponsors” tab (HR 1175) (S 362)
    4. Call the D.C. office of your representatives, use the rough scripts below to guide your discussion based on what you know. In every conversation, invite the representative to visit your business, if they haven’t already:
      • Introduce yourself and your business (i.e., I am a constituent, I own a business in your district) and ask for the legislative director
      • When you get that person on the phone, introduce yourself and your business and give them a brief history, tying it as closely as possible to their district … talk about the local farmers you work with, folks you employ, tourists that visit you, awards or recognition you’ve earned, and highlight growth you’ve experienced
        • If they are a current co-sponsor of the bill, thank them for their support, tell them about what you’ve done with the funds (hired people, bought equipment, bought more grain, made more whiskey, etc.), make sure to highlight that you will lose this benefit in December if nothing is done, and the potential consequences for your business
        • If they were a co-sponsor of the previous bills but aren’t on this bill, thank them for their support, tell them about what you’ve done with the funds (hired people, bought equipment, bought more grain, made more whiskey, etc.), make sure to highlight that you will lose this benefit in December if nothing is done, and the potential consequences for your business, and ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor to the pertinent bill (S 362 in Senate, HR 117 in House)
      • If they are new to their position or weren’t co-sponsors on the original bill, get them educated. Talk about how high your tax rate was (i.e., $X of the cost of every bottle) before this legislation and that you paid the exact same rate as the big guys, while other craft beverage producers like breweries and wineries enjoyed a lower tax rate than their large counterparts and how that has helped grow those industries, we wanted the same tax treatment and were successful in 2017 with the passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. Emphasize the benefits of your small business, agriculture, tourism, jobs, etc. Invite them to visit your distillery and see for themselves. 
    5. Important! Send an email at legislation@americancraftspirits.org to let us know you called and what they said (did they commit to cosponsoring, did they have questions, etc.) so we can follow up after your call, amplify your message and make sure they actually sign on.

If you have any questions feel free to call me directly at 315-415-8327, email me at Nicole.austin@diageo.com, or email Mark Shilling (my co-chair, mark@shillingcrafted.com) or ACSA’s Executive Director Margie Lehrman (margie@americancraftspirits.org).

View the co-signed by all of the relevant industry groups here, please feel free to use the language and wording for any letters or discussion with Congress:



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