In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) introduced this bill to ensure that the growth of America’s beer industry isn’t stifled by the tax code:
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. 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.”
Currently this legislation has the support of 117 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, including 64 Republicans and 53 Democrats.
Beer has been a mainstay in American life throughout the country’s
history, even pre-dating the establishment of North America’s first known brewery in 1612 near what became Manhattan. American soldiers were given beer rations
(1 quart per day) during the Revolutionary War, and during the first
year of his presidency George Washington announced that he would only
drink beer brewed in the U.S.
Today, the beer industry contributes
$246 billion to the U.S. economy and over $49 billion in tax revenue to
governments at all levels, while employing more than 2 million
Americans. There are over 2500 microbreweries and brewpubs,
which account for the majority of the growth in the industry. The Beer
Institute estimates that at least 40 percent of the money a consumer spends on beer goes to paying taxes at the federal and state level.
taxation of alcohol has been controversial in the U.S. since 1791, when
whiskey became the first domestic product to be taxed by the federal
government. The excise tax applied to all distilled beverages, but
whiskey’s enormous popularity led to what became known as the Whiskey Rebellion, where Americans resisted the collection of the taxes - sometimes violently. The first tax on beer was introduced in 1862, and the $1 per barrel excise tax was used to finance the government’s operations during the Civil War.
Media:Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user amberdegrace)