Although it missed out on a chance to be included as an amendment in the final version of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016, the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) has still garnered support from more than 200 members of the House.
The bill, H.R. 2903, had 202 sponsors in the House as of press time. A senate companion bill, S.1562, currently has 38 co-sponsors.
Beer Institute president Jim McGreevy shared the news in an email to members last week, using the moment as an opportunity celebrate and issue a call to action.
“In well under one year since its introduction, we’ve seen a huge swell of support for excise tax reform for brewers and importers, and hitting 200 cosponsors is a huge benchmark,” he wrote.
“Has your member of Congress become a cosponsor of H.R.2903 or S.1562? If not, please let us know so that we can help you reach out to encourage them to co-sponsor, or to thank them for their support,” he added.
Brewers Association CEO Bob Pease sent a similar note to members over the weekend, outlining the specifics of the bill and encouraging Craft Brewers Conference attendees to visit booth #1213, at BrewExpo America, to submit pre-written emails to members of Congress.
“Reaching 200 co-sponsors is something to celebrate,” he wrote. “However, our work isn’t finished and we need your help.”
As a refresher, the craft-friendly legislation would lower excise taxes on all brewers, importers, distillers, cider producers and winemakers, and is jointly backed by the BI and the BA. As written, CMBTRA reduces the federal excise tax to $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels for domestic brewers producing fewer than 2 million barrels annually. It also reduces the federal excise tax to $16 per barrel on the first 6 million barrels for all other brewers and all beer importers.