A STATEMENT FROM ACSA CEO MARGIE A.S. LEHRMAN & PRESIDENT BECKY HARRIS ON FEDERAL EXCISE TAX (FET) RELIEF

Washington, D.C. (December 1, 2020) — The American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) applauds Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who sent an urgent letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles Schumer today urging the passage of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA, S.362/H.R.1175), which would make the existing Federal Excise Tax rates for beverage alcohol producers permanent. The statement included signatures from a total of 57 U.S. senators.

Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO, American Craft Spirits said: “We want to thank Senator Wyden and Senator Portman for their strong, continued support of the craft spirits industry. Senator Wyden has long championed our craft sector, and is the author of S.362, which would make permanent a lower Federal Excise Tax (FET) for our craft distilling community. Senator Portman has been a leader on this issue and a friend to small businesses like ours, and we are grateful for all their help as we work towards permanent tax relief.”

Becky Harris, President, American Craft Spirits Association and Founder, Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. (VA) added: “Without congressional action by the end of 2020, small distillers could face a 400% tax hike. We deeply appreciate and thank all the Senators that signed this important letter.”    

ABOUT CBMTRA
At the end of 2017, both houses of Congress—in a rare act of bipartisanship—voted overwhelmingly for a two-year reduction to the FET burden craft spirits previously faced, which created parity with small wine and beer producers, who have enjoyed reduced rates for many years. President Trump signed it into law as part of the broader 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, and on January 1, 2018, the FET on craft distillers decreased from $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 100,000 proof gallons. Though it marked a major victory for small producers, it poses a devastating threat come December 31, when it is set to expire without further congressional action. 

CMBTRA, which is currently met with bi-partisan support of three-quarters of the U.S. House of Representative and Senate, would make a lower FET rate permanent. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the Senate version, S.362, while Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) are behind the House version, H.R.1175.

©2021 American Craft Spirits Association; All Rights Reserved. Member Owned, Industry Driven.

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