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US distillers urge Congress to extend tax reform act

A coalition of trade groups is calling for consumers to contact members of Congress to urge the extension of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which is due to expire at the end of this month.

US trade bodies have called on Congress to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act

Organisations including the Distilled Spirits Council of the US (Discus), American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) and American Distilled Spirits Alliance (ADSA) have called for a day of action in support of the act.

Today (1 December), members of the trade bodies and consumers are encouraged to call, tweet and email their members of Congress to urge them to pass the bipartisan legislation, which reduces taxes paid by distillers.

If extended, the act would see distillers continue to pay US$2.70 per proof gallon for the first 100,000 gallons produced in the calendar year. Previously, distilled spirits were taxed at US$13.50 per proof gallon.

The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) was first passed in 2017, marking the first time the US government reduced taxes for spirits producers of all sizes since the Civil War. The act is due to expire on 31 December 2020 after a one-year extension.

“With less than four weeks remaining before the current tax rates expire, the entire industry is mobilising their networks, consumers and suppliers to send an urgent call to Congress that they must act now,” said the coalition of trade bodies.

“This year has been incredibly difficult for craft distillers, vintners, brewers, cider makers and mead makers due to Covid-19. These businesses had to make incredibly difficult decisions like closing tasting rooms, stopping production and furloughing staff. A drastic tax hike at the stroke of midnight on December 31 will be a devastating start to the new year for these small businesses that are already struggling to keep their doors open.

“Whether you are one of the millions of professionals in the beverage alcohol industry, a supply chain partner or a loyal consumer, we need your help to ensure Congress understands the critical nature of passing this legislation by the end of the year.

“Please join us on the CBMTRA Day of Action on December 1 by calling on your representatives to act now.”

As well as Discus, the ACSA and the ADSA, the CBMTRA coalition includes the Beer Institute, Brewers Association, Wine Institute, WineAmerica, the United States Association of Cider Makers and American Mead Makers Association.

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