Local breweries join industry fight to keep tax cut, stop tariffs

Local brewery owners recently met with legislators on Capitol Hill.

They are asking for a two-year tax cut to now become permanent. They say if that tax cut ends, they might have to pass the extra cost onto consumers. 

It’s why places like Marble Brewery downtown are part of an industry-wide effort to make the ‘excise tax recalibration’ permanent. It slashed costs by more than half — dropping the tax from $7 per 31 gallons to less than $3.50.

“That saves us tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a year and we’d like to make that permanent so we can reinvest back into our communities,” said Marble Brewery co-owner Ted Rice.

As of right now, the cut is temporary and expires at the end of 2019.

Steep new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports also have brewery owners concerned.

“We buy aluminum for our cans, we buy steel for our tanks and our kegs, and so we don’t want that to inhibit our growth,” said Rice.

He says this would increase costs by as much as 10 percent, raising consumer prices.

Those concerns were voiced to Congress.

The tax cut savings have already allowed Marble Brewery to buy another tank, raise employee salaries, and hire another salesperson. They want to keep their business thriving, and grow.

“Our goal is to be a regional brewery in New Mexico and the surrounding states,” said Rice.

Managers with the Brewers Association are also advocating for owners.

“With more than 6,200 breweries across the country, it is important that small and independent brewers have a say in the political process,” said Katie Marisic, federal affairs manager at the Brewers Association.

Marble Brewery is hoping legislatures will now support them.

Hundreds of brewers from all over the country were also in Washington DC fighting to keep the tax cut permanent.

The Trump Administration recently announced trade penalties on Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. There is now a 25 percent tax on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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