Distiller Fly-In Secures New FET Tax Cut Cosponsors; TTB Funding 

More than 45 distilled spirits producers from across the country recently visited Washington, D.C., as part of the eighth annual Public Policy Conference hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council and significantly advanced the policy agenda of the beverage alcohol sector.

“We brought a unified message to Capitol Hill that the distilled spirits sector is growing rapidly and is an integral part of local hospitality businesses in states across the nation,” said Distilled Spirits Council President & CEO Kraig R. Naasz. “By personalizing this message, our distillers secured additional support for reducing the punitive federal excise tax rate as well as crucial funding for TTB label approvals.”

Distillers participated in more than 100 Congressional visits with their home state lawmakers to urge support for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which would lower the federal excise tax for spirits, beer and wine for the first time since the Civil War. Their meetings generated increased support for the legislation, which now has 45 sponsors in the U.S. Senate and 234 sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Members also communicated the importance of fully funding the label and formula approval operations at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to help bring new products to market. As also supported by the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), the House Financial Services Funding Bill includes $111.4 million for TTB, of which $5 million is specifically allocated for the processing of new labels and formulas.

The Financial Services Funding Bill currently awaits consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives, while the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act is likely to be considered in the context of overall tax reform or as a standalone economic growth initiative.