We are excited to announce that the hard work of WineAmerica as well as the national beer and spirits associations led to the long anticipated re-introduction of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. The new bill will be known as the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act of 2019, or CBMTRA, and is the formal beginning of our united effort to make permanent the federal craft beverage excise tax reform our wineries are currently enjoying via signficant tax savings. The lead Senate sponsors are once again Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). The lead House sponsors on the bill are Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA).
The bill includes all of the provisions from the amended two year version currently in place but set to expire 12/31/19. It makes all of the new credits permanent and includes an extra $15 million for the TTB. The language of the bill also retroactively fixes two of our three implementation issues from the last year. The new language will allow for credits to be taken on bond to bond transfers, which will eliminate the “alternate procedure” that was implemented by TTB last year to mitigate the issues with bonded wine cellars. Additionally, bulk wine transfers from winery to winery will be eligible for the credits. Because of the retroactive aspect of the bill, anyone that was forced to pay a higher tax due to the transfer issues will be able to see retroactive savings.
The bill as introduced does not correct issues with wine produced at a custom crush facility, but WineAmerica is working with the Washington Wine Institute and many other wine associations on strategies to amend this unfortunate error in the bill. Our lobbying efforts will ramp up immediately, and WWI leaders will be making several trips to Washington D.C. this year to help get this bill to the finish line. We will keep all of our members up-to-date as this work continues throughout this year.