Senators John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, and Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican, today introduced legislation to help small brewers, by seeking to reduce beer excise taxes, Kerry’s office said in a statement.
The Brewer’s Employment and Excise Relief (BEER) Act will help create jobs at more than 1,600 small breweries nationwide, which collectively employ nearly 100,000 people, said Kerry. Massachusetts is home to approximately 38 small breweries, including Northampton Brewery, Haverhill Brewery, and Sam Adams, the country’s largest small brewery.
“The craft beer revolution started right here in Massachusetts and they’ve been going toe to toe with multi-national beer companies ever since,” said Kerry, in a statement. “This bill will help ensure that these small businesses keep people on the payroll and create jobs even during tight economic times.”
Currently, a small brewer that produces less than two million barrels of beer per year is eligible to pay $7.00 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels produced each year. The legislation would reduce this rate to $3.50 per barrel, giving our nation's smallest brewers approximately $19.9 million per year to expand and generate jobs. This change helps approximately 1,525 breweries nationwide.
Under current law, once production exceeds 60,000 barrels, a small brewer must pay the same $18 per barrel excise tax rate that the largest brewer pays while producing more than 100 million barrels. The legislation would lower the tax rate to $16 per barrel on beer production above 60,000 barrels, up to two million barrels, providing small brewers with an additional $27.1 million per year, according to Kerry.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.