A tax cut being floated by U.S. Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado proposes letting breweries keep more money to invest back into the local economy and spur further growth in the already growing industry.
Udall's Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act calls for cutting the excise tax on a barrel of beer from $18 to $9 for big brewers and from $7 to $3.50 for small breweries.
Fort Collins, home to eight craft brewers and one macrobrewer, stands to see thousands of dollars remain in the community if the bill becomes law.
Colorado is the largest beer producing state in the country, and the beer industry is responsible for more than 100,000 jobs in production, manufacturing, commodities production and retail distribution, according to Udall.
In Colorado, liquor excise tax is levied on the liters or gallons first sold, used or consumed in Colorado. Alcohol beverages shipped outside of Colorado by a licensed manufacturer or wholesaler are exempt from Colorado's liquor excise tax, according to the Department of Revenue.
"Our craft-brewing industry is injecting millions of dollars into Colorado's economy and creating thousands of new jobs. These aren't your dad's beers Colorado's risk-taking, adventurous brewers have made Colorado the Napa Valley of beer. I am committed to working with our brewing community to ensure that our thriving craft beer business remains strong and growing," Udall said in an email.
Fort Collins impact
Many Fort Collins breweries still are in their startup phase, trying to keep up with demand and grow responsibility.
When it comes to operating a brewery, while the industry is booming, every penny counts. Current law defines a small brewer as producing 60,000 barrels a year, which includes most of the breweries in Fort Collins.
Smaller breweries such as Fort Collins' Funkwerks, which produces about 700 barrels, stand to see some return by only paying $3.50 in excise tax per barrel under the proposal. That means Funkwerks would save $2,450 a year because it expects to produce about 1,000 barrels next year.
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