Small Victory in Craft Spirits Legislation Letter to ACSA’s Membership

December 16, 2015

Dear Fellow ACSA Member:

Over the past year, we worked hard to reduce your Federal Excise Tax. We had unparalleled success in uniting an industry previously divided, to provide tax parity for beer, wine and spirits. Many of you engaged in our efforts by inviting your Congressman or Senator to visit your distillery, by communicating with Congress to support this legislation, by coming to Washington D.C. for the legislative fly-in, or by financially contributing to our cause. Thank you. We should all be proud of our collective efforts to build this historic momentum.

Unfortunately, late last night the House and Senate negotiators decided not to include an FET reduction for craft spirit producers in the tax “extenders” bill, legislation that was initially introduced by Senator Wyden (D-OR). The House will vote on the tax bill tomorrow and the Senate will follow. While we are disappointed that “our piece of the pie” was not included, the good news is that we came closer than ever to getting this passed the Congress and ACSA is now recognized as a leader in fixing this issue for our members.

During the past few months, ACSA has been in near constant contact with key Senators and Members – including the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Senator Wyden, the most senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, as well as leaders in the beer, wine and spirits industries. Our FET proposal was alive even until the last hour, which signals how seriously the issue was being considered.

Further, in a victory for our industry, Section 332 of the tax bill includes a provision that will allow small craft producers who pay less than $50,000 in excise taxes annually to file quarterly and not have to post a bond with the IRS. The inclusion of this provision is a direct result of the growing strength of our industry and making our voice heard in Washington.

We again thank all of you for the hundreds of e-mails and letters that went to the Congress from California to Massachusetts on this important issue. We genuinely appreciate your unabated outreach and remain bolstered by your support. We know firsthand that Members of Congress definitely heard your voice.

We do not intend to let this momentum fade away. We are actively discussing our steps for 2016 and intend to make another major effort to get this done. We will be pushing even harder beginning next month to convince Congress that parity for spirits must be reached. For this, however, we are going to need your continued involvement and financial support. Please consider giving a gift immediately to allow us to continue to fund this battle. To give right now, click on: http://www.americancraftspirits.org/fet-now/. Otherwise, please watch for our next communication that will advise you on how you can help.

Getting legislation passed in our United States Congress can be complicated and tough, much like getting our DSP or opening the doors to our distillery. Nonetheless, we are undaunted in our efforts. We’re used to hard work and perseverance. 

We look forward to working with you in 2016. While we may be disappointed, we are resilient and will keep this fight alive.

Best regards –

Tom Mooney
President

Ted Huber
Vice-President

Steve Johnson
Secretary/Treasurer

Ralph Erenzo
Cochair, Legislative Affairs

Nicole Austin
Committee Cochair, Legislative Affairs Committee

©2018 American Craft Spirits Association; All Rights Reserved. Member Owned, Industry Driven.

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