Senate Republicans Want To Make Your Beer Cheaper – Newsweek

Raise a glass! Republican Senators want to lower the cost of beer, wine and spirits for Americans by cutting excise taxes.

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio proposed an amendment to the GOP tax reform bill that would cut such sin taxes on booze made domestically. Portman’s proposal would also increase tax credits for wine made in the United States.

Under the amendment, the excise tax on domestic beer would from $18 per barrel $16 for the first six million barrels produced. Small-brewers who produce less than 2 million barrels of beer a year receive a $7-per-barrel rate for their first 60,000 barrels, that rate would be cut to $3.50. A barrel holds 31 gallons of beer.

Those cuts could be passed along to the consumer, as more than 41 percent of the price of every beer stems from those excise taxes.

The taxes on distilled spirits would drop 80 percent, from the current rate of $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 per proof gallon rate for the first 100,000 gallons produced or imported. A “proof gallon” is a measure of both amount and the strength of booze.

Additionally, the bill would lower the amount of tax liquor and wine companies would have to pay on their product during its often multi-year aging process.

“Federal excises taxes, which are regressive taxes, are simply too high,” a number of groups that represent brewers, winemakers and distillers wrote in support of the Portman bill to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch on Tuesday. The excise tax and regulatory reform in Portman’s Amendment “supports businesses of many shapes and sizes, both small and large. The broad, bipartisan, bicameral showing of support for this bill signifies how important excise tax reform is to many in Congress,” the group’s letter continued.

Portman’s amendment includes

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