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A cut in the federal excise tax would help all the state's brewers, including St. Lawrence Brewery in Canton. Photo: David Sommerstein
A cut in the federal excise tax would help all the state's brewers, including St. Lawrence Brewery in Canton. Photo: David Sommerstein

Craft brewers want a break from federal excise taxes

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The number of craft brewers in New York State has risen to more than 140 over the last 20 years, thanks to demand for more flavorful, and more local, beers.

Now some of those craft brewers are lobbying for tax reductions they say would help them keep their momentum.

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Reported by

Ryan Delaney
Reporter, The Innovation Trail

A handful of central New York brewers sat down with Representative Dan Maffei at Empire Brewery in Syracuse yesterday. They came with two main requests.

Mark Rubenstein, owner of Middle Ages Brewery, says a reduction in the federal excise tax will help them expand.
“We’re taxed in so many different directions,” he said.” A little reduction would help us grow quicker.”

Maffei says he supports legislation that would cut excise tax for the smallest brewers on a sliding scale, “Kind of like any graduated income tax,” he said. “Let’s not punish the small folks just because their small. Particularly when they’re family owned and when they’re starting to employ a lot of people.”

Brewers also want assistance for locally grown crops they need, namely barley and hops. They got a big helping hand on the state level last year with the Farm Breweries Bill.

That created a refund program for state excise taxes on beer and set levels for use of local ingredients.

Thanks to The Innovation Trail for this story.

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