Alcohol association CEOs back Senate beverage bill

Alcohol association CEOs back Senate beverage bill
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Officials from alcohol associations celebrated the introduction to the Senate of a bipartisan bill to reduce excise taxes for beer and wine producers on Wednesday.

The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, introduced by Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity GOP group targets McConnell over election security bills in new ad MORE (R-Mo.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations Wyden calls for end to political ad targeting on Facebook, Google Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity MORE (D-Ore.), aims to level the playing field for craft beverage makers.

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It was first introduced in 2015 and was included in the GOP tax bill in 2017. It expires at end of 2019 but this bill would make it permanent.

“The legislation is not just economically smart but enables Main Street brewers to do what they do best: create and innovate,” Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association, said in a press release. 

The other leading beer association also backs the legislation. 

“Making federal excise tax relief permanent for our nation's brewers and importers will enable them to continue to innovate, invest in their businesses, support jobs, and give back to their communities,” Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute, said.

The bill impacts business for wine manufacturers as well. 

Jim Trezise, president of WineAmerica, said the legislation as part of the GOP tax bill “enhanced our industry's ability to contribute even more by channeling tax savings into purchases of new equipment, additional employees, increased wages, expanded distribution, and facility enlargements.”

Bobby Koch, president & CEO of the Wine Institute, added that wineries have been using their tax savings to invest in the future.

The Distilled Spirits Council noted that the provision marked the first federal excise tax reduction for distilled spirits since the Civil War.

“[It] enabled distilleries to invest back into their businesses and communities across the United States,” CEO Chris Swonger, added.

The American Craft Spirits Association and the U.S. Association of Cider Makers also backed the legislation on Wednesday.