US: Washington brewers oppose tax plan U-turn

By | 18 April 2013

Washington brewers are lobbying against the proposal

Washington brewers are lobbying against the proposal

Brewers have hit out at plans to extend a temporary beer tax rise in Washington state and widen it to small brewers.

In 2010, beer tax in Washington was raised from US$8.08 per barrel to US$23.58, around a 200% hike, but with microbreweries exempted. The "temporary" increase was due to end on 1 July.

However, in the 2013 state Budget, Washington's governor has proposed that the current level should stay and be extended to all the state's 236 breweries. 

Under the plan, brewers producing more than 60,000 barrels per year would continue to pay $23.58 a barrel. But, brewers producing less than this would see their tax rate rise from $4.78 to $20.28 per barrel.

In a joint-statement issued yesterday (17 April), the Washington Brewers Guild, the Beer Institute and the End the Beer Tax Now coalition said: "We unequivocally oppose the extension of the temporary beer tax and further oppose any expansion of the tax to small brewers.

"When the nearly 200% tax increase on beer was enacted in 2010, lawmakers gave us their word that it would be temporary.  

"We urge Olympia politicians to keep their promise - end the temporary beer tax and no new beer taxes so brewers of all sizes can grow, compete and help Washington's economy flourish."

The groups have also set-up a campaign page opposing the move

UK brewers were last month rewarded with a cut in beer duty and the removal of a tax escalator after a long-fought campaign against the measure

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Sectors: Beer & cider, Legislation

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