The news of this has been passed around the beer blogosphere of late, but I wanted to make sure that I put together a quick post on it as well. The website Support Your Local Brewery, which tracks the laws affecting beer and beer sales being proposed in all states have put out their first nation wide call for help. Here is the reason:
The Senate Finance Committee in Washington, DC is currently considering a proposal to increase and equalize the excise tax for alcohol beverages as part of healthcare reform deliberations. This proposal would triple the excise tax for 4.5% ABV beer and impose even higher excise tax rates for higher ABV beers.
I'm no big fan of increasing taxes especially by a government that has shown no interest in cutting spending, it seems like rewarding bad behavior to me. So it should be no big secret that I wouldn't be a big fan of this proposed tax increase, however its not just that its also the fact that I'm a craft beer lover, and this beer punishes craft beer more than it punishes the marco brewers. Why you ask? Check out the last sentence of the above blurb: "impose even higher excise tax rates on higher ABV beers." Craft brewers make craft beer, and a lot of these styles are higher alcohol content, so basically the government wants to punish artisan craftsmen by taxing their products at a higher rate than non artisan products. Make no mistake that these tax increases will then be passed on to the consumer, with some estimates saying it could increase a 6 pack by $1.69, which might not sound like a lot, but it could add up, and maybe make the consumer by less, or buy different. So what can you do? Call your state senator. If you live here in Texas you have a senator that is on the Senate Finance Committee that this bill will be heard so you have even more of a chance to make an impact.
Please write a letter to John Cornyn and ask him to vote no to this bill. What Texas Craft Brewers need is NOT higher taxes. Here is a link to his information, and how to contact him.