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Senator goes to Hooker to push for tax cut

Politics

BLOOMFIELD, Conn (WTNH) — A bill working its way through Congress could help your local brewery expand and create jobs. That’s the idea behind the legislation called the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act – a lot of words designed to make the acronym the “Small BREW Act.”

There are more and more small, craft breweries popping up. Connecticut has at least two dozen. The idea behind the Small BREW Act is, if the federal government would cut them a break on their excise tax, they could expand and create more jobs.

“These breweries are growing and they’re not only growing their production, they’re growing jobs,” according to US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Senator Blumenthal and representatives from ten other breweries all gathered at Bloomfield’s Thomas Hooker brewery because they all back that bill to cut the excise tax in half on beer made by small breweries.

“I think that I speak for pretty much everyone here who would receive this tax break,” said Hooker Brewery CEO Curt Cameron. “This money would be put back into their businesses to fuel growth.”

For tax purposes, beer production is still measured in barrels. The excise tax right now is $7 per barrel for small breweries. This proposed legislation would cut that in half. Small breweries are defined as breweries that produce fewer than 60,000 barrels a year. Hooker produces about 13,000 a year.

“This means a reinvestment of about $45,000,” Cameron said. “Which will help us hire people, which will help us invest in equipment.”

It sounds like a good idea, but Senator Blumenthal came to this same brewery to promote the same tax cut two and a half years ago. It didn’t pass. The difference now, he says, is that big beer conglomerates are no longer fighting the tax cut for the little guys.

“The big companies now support this idea in concept,” according to Sen. Blumenthal. “They have begun to share the love for small breweries.”

In addition to the Small BREW Act, there is also the Fair BEER Act in congress. It wants to do away with the excise tax entirely. Senator Blumenthal says he thinks the bill cutting the tax in half has a better shot at passing.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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