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Rochester craft brewers pushing to extend craft beer tax break

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The craft brewing industry in New York is hoping Congress acts in a tax break before it expires at the end of the year.

The Craft Beverage Modernization Tax Reform Act passed back in 2017 and reduced the federal excise tax for brewers.

“If that goes back up it could mean layoffs it could mean breweries that aren’t going to expand anymore it could really slow the industry down, said Paul Leone, executive director of the New York State Brewer’s Association.

“The federal excise tax was actually $7.50 and we were able to get that cut in half,” said Leone. That allowed breweries to hire new people and get new equipment. It was a huge tax savings. “

Daniel Western, who owns a local craft brewing company, says without the tax break he wouldn’t have been able to pour money back into his business.

“It allows us to expand and keep our operations open and really bring the money back into the business,” said Western.

If Congress fails to pass the act brewers would go back to the hold higher rate. According to Leone they would loose several thousand dollars a year and it would disrupt the industry.

“It might mean some breweries laying people off that they brought on, said Leone. “So it will defintely mean loss of jobs and it will also could very well mean that a brewery that had plan on extending, expanding, or hiring people won’t be able to anymore. “

According to the state brewer’s association New York is currently fourth in the country with craft beer. Last year the industry added more than $3 billion to the state economy.

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