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Womack, Kind Introduce Fair BEER Act

Legislation Seeks Broad Reform of Federal Beer Tax

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Washington, February 5, 2015 | comments

Federal excise taxes for all beer importers and for brewers of more than two million barrels annually are currently $18 per barrel.  Brewers that produce less than two million barrels annually are taxed at a rate of $7 per barrel for their first 60,000 barrels, significantly decreasing their effective tax rate.  While this reduced tax rate has successfully encouraged new entry into the market, it unintentionally created a barrier to further growth.

Today, Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR-3) and Ron Kind (D-WI-3) – joined by 21 of their House colleagues – introduced the Fair Brewers Excise and Economic Relief (Fair BEER) Act of 2015.  This bipartisan bill comprehensively reforms the federal beer tax imposed on beer importers and all brewers – without picking the winners and losers – by eliminating the production cap and replacing it with the graduated, equitable, and simplified tax structure outlined below.

 Annual Barrel Production Rate  ​
0-7,143
7,144-60,000
60,001-2,000,000
2,000,001+
   Per Barrel Excise Tax Rate    ​
$0.00
$3.50
$16.00
$18.00

Upon introduction, the lead sponsors of the Fair BEER Act released the following statements:

“Our tax policies shouldn’t discourage the growth and continued success of an industry that supports jobs for more than two million Americans, and it shouldn’t pick the winners and losers in the market,” said Womack.  “This comprehensive reform bill supports brewpubs, microbrewers, national craft brewers, major brewers, and importers alike and encourages their entrepreneurial spirit, which is exactly the spirit we need to get America’s economic engine going again.”

“The beer industry has shaped our heritage and history in Wisconsin and plays a crucial role in our state’s economy,” said Kind.  “Here in Wisconsin and across the nation, brewers are employing our workers and creating new jobs, and this pro-growth, bipartisan bill will help them continue to expand and produce high-quality products.”

The final text of the bill can be found here.

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