CBMTRA is the Law of the Land!
In nationwide developments, we’re happy to see that the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act — affectionately known as “CBMTRA” — has become a permanent fixture of the tax code of this nation.
At long, long last.
Part of that gigantic COVID relief bill that ended up being used as a political football at the end of the year, CBMTRA is now the law of the land.
If you recall, CBMTRA was originally rolled into President Trump’s tax relief bill back in 2017, but the provisions addressing the excise tax for breweries were set to expire at the end of 2019. They were extended through 2020, but their future beyond the end of last year was uncertain.
The Brewers Association and the Beer Institute have been pushing for this legislation since 2015, with our own Ryan Krill helping to lead the charge. Ryan has participated in numerous annual Hill Climbs, meeting with countless members of Congress to lobby for this legislation, as well as talking to local media about the need for excise tax relief.
In an email to members, President & CEO of the Brewers Association, Bob Pease, said, “Inclusion of the CBMTRA in the year-end legislation is the direct result of the hard work and efforts of the Brewers Association, state guilds, and our member breweries. Our advocacy at the local and federal levels has helped demonstrate the important role that the brewing industry plays in our country’s economy.”
And that’s a huge role. In 2019, the craft brewing industry contributed $82.9 billion to the U.S. Economy, supporting more than 580,000 jobs. With the CBMTRA reducing our excise tax liability by half — previously set at $7 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels, we’re now only responsible for $3.50 per barrel — that amounts to annual savings near $80 million for our country’s small breweries.
“Congressional leaders acknowledged the profound impact the reduced excise tax rate has had on the growth and trajectory of a uniquely American industry,” Pease wrote, “recognizing that allowing the lower rates to expire would be extremely detrimental to the 8,300 small breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms across the country.”
In an email to Beer Institute members, President and CEO of the Beer Institute Jim McGreevy said, “I want to thank every one of you for your work to get this legislation across the finish line. For years, employees from our nation’s brewers, beer importers, and beer industry suppliers from across the country have worked together to tell their members of Congress how critical this tax relief is for their businesses.” As we start 2021 without the threat of a tax increase, McGreevy added, “I encourage you to reach out to your local members of Congress and thank them for their support and reinforce the massive positive impact this will have on your business operations.”
While this legislation is certainly welcome, breweries throughout the country are still being hurt by the ongoing pandemic. With increased restrictions on indoor dining coupled with dropping temperatures making outdoor seating uncomfortable, supporting your favorite local brewery is more important than ever.
So, now more than ever, #drinklocal! Stop by the Tasting Room today, or find a retailer near you at our Beer Finder!