Distilled Spirits Council Urges Congress to Support Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act

Craft Distillers Face 400% Tax Hike Without Congressional Action

In a letter sent today to members of Congress, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States President and CEO Chris Swonger urged legislators to “join the bipartisan and bicameral effort to support America’s vibrant small businesses” by co-cosponsoring the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.

The letter, sent to members of Congress who have not yet co-sponsored the legislation, underscored the urgency of the bill.

“As Congress returns from its August recess, we urge you to join over 270 Members of the House of Representatives and nearly 70 Senators in calling to make the federal excise tax reduction on distilled spirits permanent.

“Just 16 weeks from today, the federal excise tax reduction on distilled spirits that has been in place less than two years expires. Without passage of this critical piece of legislation, craft distillers across the country will be faced with a 400 percent tax increase and tremendous uncertainty.”

Swonger noted that making the tax cut permanent will provide much-needed certainty to America’s nearly 2,000 craft distillers. He pointed out that the temporary tax cut has enabled small businesses across the country to reinvest in their companies by purchasing equipment, hiring new employees, and providing new employee benefits. Such investments also are supporting local farmers who supply the grains needed to produce their spirits.

Introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2019 (S.362/H.R. 1175) makes permanent the federal excise tax cut on distilled spirits, beer, wine and cider that was enacted in 2017. Without congressional approval, the tax cut for distillers, brewers, vintners and cider makers will expire December 31, 2019.

The full text of the letter can be viewed here.

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The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the leading voice and advocate for distilled spirits in the U.S.