Raise a glass to lowering craft beverage taxes
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Reinhart Boerner van Deuren
The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) was first introduced in 2015 to reduce federal excise taxes and streamline regulations on breweries, wineries and distilleries. Despite support from big beer, big liquor, craft groups like the Brewers Association and the majority of Congress, the bills died in committee.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) reintroduced the CBMTRA on Jan. 30, 2017 along with Reps. Erik Paulson (R-Minnesota) and Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin). Sens. Tammy Baldwin (R-Wisconsin) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) are both co-sponsors of the Senate bill. On the House side, in addition to Kind, Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) and Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) are the only co-sponsors from Wisconsin.
What would CBMTRA do?
- Cut federal excise taxes in half for all but the largest Wisconsin craft brewers
- Expand excise tax credits for wineries
- Reduce federal excise taxes for craft distilleries by 80 percent
- Simplify beer formulation approvals
- Increase funding for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)
How can you help?
Write to your representative to help Wisconsin have the first complete Congressional delegation to sponsor the CBMTRA. While you're at it, enjoy a Wisconsin-made beverage of your choice.
Consumers: Contact your representative using a sample letter found at the end of the complete article to express your support of the legislation. If your Congressional representative is not already a member of the Small Brewers Caucus, encourage them to join so they can learn more about brewery operations and regulations.
The five Wisconsin members of the House that are not yet sponsors are:
a. Paul Ryan, 1st District
b. Gwen Moore, 4th District - Caucus member
c. James Sensenbrenner, 5th District
d. Glenn Grothman, 6th District - Caucus member
e. Sean Duffy, 7th District - Caucus member
Craft brewery owners, employees, and suppliers: Contact your representative through the Brewers Association website.
If you have any questions about the CBMTRA or any other regulations that impact the brewery, winery or distillery communities, please contact Robert J. Heinrich.