August 26, 2010

Crapo Notes Progress on Lowering Beer Tax

Meets with Portneuf Valley Brewing, Idaho barley growers in Pocatello Saturday

Pocatello - Efforts to cut taxes and increase employment for small craft breweries in Idaho and other states are gaining momentum, according to the Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Legislation introduced by Crapo and three original co-sponsors on May 11 now has six times the co-sponsors in recent weeks.

Crapo joined Senators John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to introduce legislation that would cut in half the federal excise taxes for smaller breweries, saving money the small businesses can put back into the hiring of new workers and purchase of agricultural products like hops and barley used in the production of their products.

Crapo noted the larger number of bipartisan co-sponsors will make it easier to move the legislation. What started out as a bill with four original sponsors now has 24 co-sponsors and an improved chance for consideration and passage in the Senate.

Crapo will visit the Portneuf Valley Brewing Company in Pocatello on Saturday to discuss the legislation. He was invited to tour the brewery and discuss the tax proposal by owner Penny Pink. Crapo will also discuss the legislation with Idaho Grain Producers Association President and barley farmer Scott Brown of Soda Springs and Dan Kopman, representing the Brewers Association, based in Boulder Colorado. All four will tour the brewery and meet with local media to discuss the tax relief and job-creating legislation, S. 3339.

"In the past year I have invested tens of thousands of dollars into expanding my brewing capacity at Portneuf Valley Brewing," said brewery owner Penny Pink. "The proposed Excise Tax Reduction bill will definitely help my business, as well as more than 1500 other small craft brewers in the United States, by allowing us to reinvest the $3.50 per barrel excise tax reduction back into our businesses to improve our operations by adding to or improving our existing brewing equipment and hiring new employees to run that equipment. Reinvestment of the tax savings by America's craft brewers will generate jobs and ultimately additional tax revenues at many levels."

"The Idaho Grain Producers Association is thankful for Sen. Crapo's leadership in bringing farmers, brewers, and consumers together under one roof to pass this legislation", said Brown. "Idaho's barley growers are proud of what they do, and they realize the value of the entire industry chain."

News Conference and brewery tour:
Saturday, August 28
2:00 p.m.
Portneuf Valley Brewing Company
615 South 1st Avenue