The measure, which now goes to a House-Senate conference committee, provides a 50% reduction in federal excise tax on domestic brewers and distillers who produce less than 60,000 barrels a year. Larger suppliers also get the reduced rate on their first 60,000 barrels.
In a statement, Distilled Spirits Council President Kraig R. Naasz praised the vote, saying:
“The Distilled Spirits Council commends Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and their colleagues for their efforts to enact comprehensive tax reform. The two-year version of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman and contained in the Senate tax reform bill will create a fairer tax structure for all beverage alcohol. It will enable producers of distilled spirits to invest back in their businesses and communities across the United States.
“Distilled spirits are among the most highly taxed consumer goods in the United States and we support the enactment of pro-growth, comprehensive tax reform. The Council commends the Senate for its efforts to create a simpler, more competitive and equitable tax system through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”
Jim McGreevy, president, Beer Institute, also praised the measure, commending the Senate for its “bold vision on tax reform and for including federal excise tax relief for America’s brewers and importers.”
McGreevy said federal excise tax relief could create an additional $320 million in annual economic growth in the beer industry. He also thanked the 300 representatives and 55 Senators for their support of the legislation.
“Federal excise tax reform for beverage alcohol is a comprehensive and critical step forward that benefits all brewers and beer importers – large and small,” McGreevy said in the release.
Brewers Association (BA) CEO Bob Pease, called passage of the legislation “a game changer for small brewers. This is a large step forward for America’s small brewers, which are located in every Congressional District in the nation,” Pease said in a press release.
The legislation could create an additional 9,000 beer industry jobs in the first 12 to 18 months after implementation, BA said.
In another statement, Thomas J. Donohue, president/ceo, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which speaks for business overall, said:
“The decades-long drive toward meaningful tax reform is closer than ever to becoming a reality. We applaud the senators who today advanced a legislative package that will grow the economy, create jobs, and allow middle-class Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money. This bill will encourage investment here in the United States as businesses hire workers, expand facilities, and buy new equipment.
“Momentum toward final passage is building rapidly with only a couple critical steps left to complete. Lawmakers are poised to deliver on the promise of a better economic future for all Americans, and I urge them to keep up the good work and finish the job without delay.”