The House votes YES to extend the CBMTRA!
Yesterday the US House of Representatives voted to extend the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) for another year. This vote is just the first step in an ongoing process to get the bill reviewed and approved by the Senate and finally signed into action by the President before it expires on December 31, 2019.
The last two years have been an amazing period of growth for our country’s craft distilleries, breweries, wineries, and their supply chain partners, much of which can be directly attributed to the passing CBMTRA at the end of 2017.
CBMTRA decreased the federal excise tax rates by as much as 95%for distillers, brewers, and wine producers up to certain volumes of production, providing small to medium suppliers a tremendous opportunity to invest the savings into hiring more employees and opening new businesses or tasting rooms. Industry representatives estimate that over 15,000 jobs were added by the craft brewing sector alone in 2018, up three-fold from the years just before the CBMTRA was enacted.
If the bill is not approved by the Senate and ultimately the President, these tax rates will effectively increase by 400% on January 1, 2020. Not only will growth in the craft beverage sector be significantly hampered, in many ways it will be reversed completely, as recently outlined by Clay Risen in the New York Times.
“In speaking with a number of craft beverage producers, the main concern they expressed is not a lack of growth or profit. It’s bigger than that,” said Gabe Barkley, CEO of MHW.
“They fear a reality in which they might be forced to lay off their employees or potentially close their doors for good. That’s what keeps them up at night,” Barkley finished.
In addition to becoming a Director Member of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and teaming up with other influential groups like the National Association of Beverage Importers (NABI) and Spirits United, MHW leadership has been strongly urging the US government to enact the bill permanently. President and Founder John Beaudette has traveled to Washington D.C. regularly to meet with lawmakers and state representatives to garner support for getting this bill pushed through.
“Ensuring the passing of this bill has been a top priority for us in the last year,” said Beaudette.
“This bill is critical for the beverage industry. We all succeed if there is an even playing field and opportunities for companies of all sizes to invest in the growth of their businesses. Today, we continue to urge lawmakers to put aside their larger differences to pass this bi-partisan effort and help our industry continue to thrive.”