Hershey, PA- After a government shutdown prevented small brewers from getting new products on the market, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, pushed for passage of legislation that would cut taxes for small breweries in Central Pennsylvania and across the country. The bill, The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act S. 917), would help small breweries like Troegs’ Brewery by cutting the excise tax that small breweries pay. Casey’s tax cut plan would help small breweries compete with larger companies and has the potential to create jobs and add to Central Pennsylvania’s economy. At Troegs Brewery, they’ve seen their products processes slowed because of the government shutdown.
“This legislation will help smaller breweries like Troegs spur economic growth and continue to produce innovative products that lead to job creation,” Senator Casey said. “I’m hopeful that the last few weeks will change the tone in Washington and Democrats and Republicans can begin to come together on policies that will create jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country.”
Brewers generally pay an $18 excise tax on each barrel brewed (one barrel is 31 gallons). Small brewers (those that brew fewer than 2 million barrels of beer a year) pay a reduced excise tax of $7 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels of beer they brew each year. The proposed bill would reduce the excise tax applicable to brewers producing up to 6 million barrels per year in two ways. First, the tax rate applicable to the first 60,000 barrels would be reduced to $3.50 per barrel. Second, the tax rate on additional barrels below 2 million per year would be reduced to $16. The small brewer threshold and tax rate were established in 1976 and have never been updated. Since then, the annual production of America’s largest brewery increased from 45 million barrels to 105 million barrels. Raising the ceiling that defines small breweries from 2 million barrels to 6 million barrels more accurately reflects the intent of the original differentiation between large and small brewers in the U.S.
A March 2013 study at Harvard University highlighted the economic benefits of the bill:
- The proposed reduction in the federal excise tax on beer produced by small brewers (i.e., brewers producing up to 6 million barrels of beer per year) would increase economic activity by $183.1 million in 2013 and $1.04 billion over five years.
~ News Release via Robert P. Casey, Jr. , U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania ~
- Sen. Bob Casey proposes tax break for small brewers of beer, tours Troegs (pennlive.com)
- Brewery’s growth halted by gov. shutdown (wpri.com)
- Casey Statement on the Government Shutdown (parkesburggazette.wordpress.com)
- Senate votes 81-18 to reopen government; Bob Casey votes “yes”, Pat Toomey votes “no” (fox43.com)
- Senator: Democrats already compromised on $70 billion cut, GOP didn’t keep their end of deal (thelead.blogs.cnn.com)