15 March 2010

Congressional Bill Proposes Cutting Beer Excise Tax For Microbrewers In Half

Who says that Congress is always about bleeding its constituents dry with taxes?

Not this article (which, we shall point out, is not written by a media reporter but by Brewers Association founder and homebrew author/guru Charlie Papazian, who obviously has his own agenda in mind and at work):

The small brewer tax rate was established in 1976 and has never been updated. Since then the annual production of America's largest brewery increased from about 45 million to 107 million barrels (300 million globally). The ceiling defining small breweries is 2 million barrels.
H.R. 4278, a bill introduced in December 2009 by Democrat Representative Richie Neal (MA) and Republican Representative Kevin Brady (TX) would redefine the ceiling defining a small brewery and reduce the beer excise tax for small brewers from $7 to $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels of beer production.  It would also reduce the tax on beer production between 60,001 and 2 million barrels by $2, from $18 to $16.  All brewers large or small would pay the full current rate of $18 on any beer produced over 2 million barrels in any given year.
Go to the article to review the pro-bill propaganda rehashed there.

Anyone taking bets on whether a pro-business, tax-reduction bill stands a chance in this current political climate and Congress?


BeerGuy said...

In this political climate, heck no.

Scratch that, it does if the business is something desired such as community service, pro union, so-called green jobs, etc.

This cherry picking of winners and losers is absurd, tax policy should be able to benefit all.

Thats the problem with the small brewery tax cut, if they're getting a tax cut so should the big guys (annoying as that is), we can't have this artificially uneven tax scheme picking winners and losers. Everyone should know the rules and the arena and have the same basic obstacles.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

BeerGuy, the Libertarian in me absolutely agree with you 100% in general principle. But American government, cries of the "liberals" aside, has had a long history of sticking up for the "underdog"--witness such stuff as the Small Business Administration, working with efforts to keep "big-box" retailers in check, imposing regulations against railroads in the 19th century, etc. I don't think it's that inherently unfair to recognize the vast difference between, say, Brian and Stillwater Ales, or Dog Brewing or even Clipper City/Heavy Seas or Flying Dog, and a massive multinational concern like Diageo, ABInBev, and SABMillerCoors which may have more economic clout than some entire Third World nations.

I'm not, and never will be, the constant and unquestioning cheerleader for small brewers that the BA might want me to be (and some writers/bloggers transparently are). I'm just reporting the efforts out there, even if I get just a touch cynical about a bit of it.