Just in Time for Summer: Roll Back the Beer Tax!

By May 30, 2013Taxation

Despite a cooler than usual Memorial Day, the weather this week made it clear that summer in Washington has officially begun.

For many Americans, the season of baseball games, picnics, and beach trips go hand in hand with a cold beer. For tax policy wonks, summer celebrations are also a reminder that the beer industry in the United States is one of the most heavily taxed.

In fact, more than 40 percent of what Americans pay for beer goes to taxes. And it’s not just a pocket book issue for relaxing adults, it’s a jobs issue for the 2 million Americans who work in the $246.5 billion industry, including factory hands, farm workers, brewers and bartenders.

Simply put, high taxes on beer divert important resources from brewers who’d much rather use this money to reinvest in their businesses, employees and communities. So the NAM staff, especially the beer drinkers, are pleased to see that there are bipartisan bills (HR 1918 and S 958) in both the House and the Senate to roll back the federal excise tax on beer for many brewers and indeed eliminate it entirely for small brewers of up to 15,000 barrels annually.

As Ben Franklin has been often quoted as saying, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Keep in mind, he was a prominent member of an organization opposed to high taxes that founded the United States.

Cheers to the cosponsors of these bills and here’s hoping we see legislative action before summer ends.

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