Two organizations that represent U.S. distillers have applauded recent Republican efforts in Congress to lower taxes on the industry.
The Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) and American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) both sent out press releases commending the Senate Finance Committee for including in their tax-cut proposal a provision to “create tax fairness for the country’s 1,589 small, independent craft distillers,” an ACSA spokesperson says.
“Current tax policy allows for a reduced excise tax rate for small producers of beer and wine,” the ACSA release adds, “however, craft distillers are charged at the same rate as major corporate suppliers, creating a huge disparity within the industry.”
The legislation would for the first time create a reduced Federal Excise Tax (FET) for craft distillers producing less than 100,000 proof gallons a year. This would provide parity with craft brewers and small vintners, who have enjoyed a reduced FET based on their smaller size for many years, the organizations argue.
“With more than half the cost of a typical bottle of spirits resulting from taxes and fees, a reduction in the federal excise tax will stimulate further investment and job creation in communities across the country,” a DISCUS spokesperson says. “This common-sense and much-needed amendment is widely supported by nearly 300 cosponsors in the House and 54 in the Senate. We will work with the other Senate cosponsors to ensure that this amendment is included in the final bill that passes the Senate.”
Whether the broader tax plan that includes this provision can pass through Congress remains to be seen.