Tapped in: Tax exemption extended for craft breweries for another year

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2019 slashes the federal excise tax on beer barrels in half. It was signed for another year-long extension.

Advocates say that tax relief goes a long way in making sure that breweries are healthy and can continue to grow.

Paul Leone, the executive director of the New York State Brewers Association said that they had hoped that it would re-signed.

“The New York State craft brewing industry has contributed $5.4 billion and 20,000 jobs to the states economy thanks to tax breaks,” said Leone. “Breweries continually invest and reinvest cost savings into their growing businesses and communities.”

For Three Heads Brewing, that tax would have had a major impact:

“For someone like us, that could get up in the neighborhood of a $30,000 increase in taxes, which becomes an extra employee,” said Geoff Dale, the brewery’s “Minister of Mayhem.”

“We are beyond excited at Three Heads that the exemption has been extended,” Dale continued. “It will allow us to continue to grow our business and continue to make Rochester a premiere beer destination.”

However, a new state bill has introduced that aims to double the excise tax on beer.

Sponsored by State Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, the bill “would increase the current $0.14 per gallon tax on beer to $0.30.”

That tax — according to bill — would generate $51 million in “additional revenue that would be split between the State University of New York and the City University of New York.”

According the bill, the tax is meant to bring the beer tax to the same level as the state’s wine tax.

SUNY and Epstein have not immediately returned a request for comment.

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