DENVER -- Colorado brewers are joining their peers and industry groups at the annual Craft Brewers Conference in Washington D.C. this week, promoting tax reform.
Their top priority is advocating for the passage of the 'Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act,' which would re-calibrate federal excise tax for brewers. The legislation could reduce taxes for some brewers by as much as 50 percent, according to Bob Pease, the C.E.O. of the Boulder-based Brewers Association.
"Small and independent brewers in this country have created about 130,000 jobs over the last 25 years," said Pease. "If this bill were to pass, it would lower the federal excise tax burden on brewers. Those brewers would take that money and re-invest it in their business and grow their business. And when craft brewers produce more beer, they create more jobs and hire more workers."
The Brewers Association has campaigned for similar legislation before, but Pease says the political climate seems friendlier this year.
"In this current political environment, you do have the House and Senate and now the executive branch all voicing support for comprehensive tax reform," said Pease. "If there is a significant piece of tax legislation in 2017 or 2018, we're working hard to be included in that conversation, and hopefully be a part of anything that comes out of the House and moves over to the Senate."
So far, Pease says there's been no opposition.
"There are no red states, there are no blue states, there are only brew states," exclaimed Pease. "Our support is bi-cameral and bi-partisan. I think the last count on the Senate side was 16 to 16, 16 R's and 16 D's co-sponsoring the bill."
The legislation has the support of 119 House members and 32 Senators.
"If the craft beverage bill were to pass, that would have immense economic impact on the 300 small and independent brewers in Colorado," Pease promised.