New Federal Beer Taxes

Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:25 am

SDT will most likely flag this as another "Bill's Law" post.

Just received from the Brewers Association an email this morning:

"
Dear Beer Enthusiast,

Small brewers are facing an imminent and extremely serious threat to their businesses. The consequences of remaining silent have the very real potential of reducing your choice of beer and dramatically increasing the price of any beer that you purchase.

The Senate Finance Committee in Washington, DC is currently considering a proposal to increase and equalize the excise tax for alcohol beverages as part of health care reform deliberations. This proposal would triple the excise tax for 4.5% ABV beer and impose even higher excise tax rates for higher ABV beers.

If such a proposal becomes reality, there is no question that many small brewery businesses will suffer, some will close and consumers will face higher prices and diminished choice in the marketplace.

The Brewers Association brewery members and leadership have been actively engaged in building the case against an excise tax increase, recently submitting a letter to the Committee outlining our opposition.

We need you to speak out now. Today or tomorrow at the latest.

If you live in the following states it is most urgent that you contact your Senator who is on the Senate Finance Committee:
Arizona Nevada
Arkansas New Jersey
Delaware New Mexico
Florida New York
Idaho North Dakota
Iowa Oregon
Kansas Texas
Kentucky Utah
Maine Washington
Massachusetts West Virginia
Michigan Wyoming
Montana

If your Senators are not members of that committee, ask them to contact their Finance Committee colleagues and express their opposition to this proposal moving forward.

Your ask of them is simple:

Oppose the Tax Increase. Let them know that you oppose, in the strongest possible terms, raising the federal excise tax on beer because of the serious consequences it would have on small brewers and the craft beer they brew. Additional talking points appear below.

Once again: If one of your Senators sits on the Senate Finance Committee (roster of members below), urge them to oppose this proposal in committee deliberations.

If your Senators are not members of that committee, ask them to contact their Finance Committee colleagues and express their opposition to this proposal moving forward.

Take Action - Call and/or email your Senators’ Washington or district offices and make your personal case against this massive excise tax increase.

As always, thanks for your support.

Charlie Papazian
"

Funny how "equalizing all alcohol taxes" means raising beer taxes rather than lowering hard alcohol taxes. And it's for health care reform, don't you know. Funny how most of the recent cigarette settlement taxes in our state no longer go to smoking awareness and all the crap they said it would pay, rather it pads the benefits and pension funds for "public service" employees working and retired as these costs continue to increase at a faster rate than we can afford to support.
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Re: New Federal Beer Taxes

Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:48 am

Also noted in this email is that taxes already represent over 40% of the cost of an average beer purchased at a retail outlet.

"ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE TO SMALL BREWERS EXCISE TAXES

Small brewers are small Main street businesses, typically employing 10 to 50 employees.

* Small brewers represent only 4% of the entire U.S. beer market by volume, with 95% of them being very small businesses (producing 15,000 barrels or less per year).

We strongly oppose proposals to increase the excise tax on beer.

* Proposals to increase and equalize the tax among all types of alcohol will tax small brewers at the highest rates because our specialty, gourmet and innovative beers typically have higher alcohol contents.
* Brewers already pay a disproportionately higher share of taxes compared with other products – federal, state and local taxes represent over 40% of the retail price for beer while the same taxes equal nearly 24% of the price for all other purchases.

Higher taxes will worsen the economic recession – resulting in less competitive products, reduced sales and revenues, lost jobs and, for some small brewers, business closures.

* $1 per case excise tax increase will typically cost the consumer at least $1.69 due to successive mark-ups as the case moves from brewer to wholesaler to retailer.
* Many small brewers are struggling to deal with the consequences of the 2008 spike in ingredient and operational costs.
"

If the "Cap and Trade" carbon/energy tax is added on top of this proposed beer specific tax increase the cost of beer (and every other good that has shipping costs) will go up by even more "resulting in less competitive products, reduced sales and revenues, lost jobs and... " even more "...business closures."
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Re: New Federal Beer Taxes

Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:03 am

On the other hand, increased beer specific taxes may be a very good thing for homebrewing supply stores.
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Re: New Federal Beer Taxes

Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:20 pm

The voters wanted change, now they're getting it.
bleachcola
 

Re: New Federal Beer Taxes

Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:04 pm

Higher taxes lead to prosperity.

Right?
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Re: New Federal Beer Taxes

Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:21 pm

BrewTa2 wrote:Higher taxes lead to prosperity.

Right?


Not for small craft brewers....


Mylo
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Re: New Federal Beer Taxes

Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:59 pm

bleachcola wrote:The voters wanted change, now they're getting it.

True that. Given the two major candidates last time around, my take is that we would have been screwed either way, just to what degree.

But I too now am starting to buy into the hope for change thing. The biggest problem about politicians is they are given more and more power to take and spend other people's money, and many of them want to compete with each other in their largess to purchase future re-elections. If you can fool the ignorant into thinking only the "rich" are getting screwed with all of these hidden taxes on average people then we deserve to pay the price for ignorance.

With the current recession and high unemployment in my industry I am only paying 30% of the federal and state taxes that I did this time last year. If many others are doing the same they must either cut back on spending or go after new and higher other taxes to make up the difference. Or print a lot of new money now at the federal level and we will see rapid inflation as we did in the late 70's very soon. Merkel of Germany is very worried about our current fiscal policy.

In today's paper the Governor of Hawaii is pointing out that payroll, benefits and other labor costs represent 70% of our state's annual budget. Revenues to the State are down 10-15% from last year due to the current economic slowdown. Public employees here have been given pay increases of 16% to 29% over the past several years. If no one is to be laid off and no decrease in pay and/or benefits are agreed to the only responsible thing is to make each state employee take 3 days off unpaid each month in the upcoming year to keep the budget in balance as is required by law.

Here the various agencies could also opt to cut many of the currently unstaffed, funded positions that each agency has a slush fund for to make up some of this difference without any ill effects other than reducing their current annual budget allocation. Doing with less is something they have no problem demanding others to do, but they still can not grasp that it is something that makes sense to do themselves in these challenging times.
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Re: New Federal Beer Taxes

Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:58 am

bleachcola wrote:The voters wanted change, now they're getting it.


That's what happens when you vote in an ultra Liberal

Mark my words, this is nothing, wait till the carbon tax kicks in. It will be like artificial inflation. 100% of the products and services you buy will go up 15% or more in price
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