Putting CBMTRA’s Tax Relief to Work

After a two-year stretch, the Craft Beverage Modernization & Tax Reform Act was extended through 2020, giving many breweries across the country another year of lower federal excise taxes to deal with.

Since the start of 2018 excise taxes have been cut in half, from $7 per barrel of craft beer down to $3.50 for breweries that produce less than 60,000 barrels of volume per year.

That tax relief meant a sudden boost of income for veteran breweries while for newer businesses, it means the ability to invest in the future for growth.

Snake River Brewing turned 25 in 2019, so the CBMTRA tax breaks were a great time to update a lot of the Jackson, Wyoming brewery’s branding and equipment.

“That tax break couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Luke Bauer, the brewery’s Sales & Marketing Director. “We’re looking carefully at a couple of new markets and continuing these lower tax rates will potentially allow for brewery upgrades to support those.”

The CBMTRA expires at the end of December, but work is underway by members of the Brewers Association to make the tax break bill to stay permanently.

Todd Scott, the president of Bozeman Brewing said that having the savings allowed him to give raises and bonuses to employees.

“[There’s​] m​ore money to apply to our people as opposed to our government​,” he pointed out​. ​”We pay excise tax twice each month to the feds in addition to income tax.​”​

According to the Brewers Association, craft brewers contributed $79.1 billion to the US economy in 2018 and were responsible for more than 550,000 full-time equivalent jobs, an 11 percent increase from 2017, with 150,000 of those jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs.

Photo courtesy: Snake River Brewing

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