Raise a glass to GOP tax cuts! You can literally drink up the benefits

During your next backyard barbeque, raise your glass or cup to President Trump and the Republican Congress for passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The Republican tax cuts have not only put more money in your paycheck, they have also helped the makers of the adult beverages you may be enjoying.

The GOP tax cuts lowered the corporate tax rate, increased take-home pay for 90 percent of wage earners, established full business expensing, and included the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. With the help of these provisions, local entrepreneurs are able to increase production, jobs, and distribution in their breweries, distilleries and vineyards across America.

The festive drink you’ll be holding during your beach vacation might have been produced with the assistance of full business expensing. The provision allows businesses to deduct the full cost of new equipment from their taxes the same year they purchase the equipment. In the past, deductions occurred over a lengthy, multiyear period.

For local breweries, distilleries, and wineries, buying more equipment means growing their business. It also means expanding positive economic impacts to manufacturers who produce barrels, brewing equipment and delivery vehicles.

Jose Mallea, owner of Biscayne Bay Craft Brewery in Miami, quickly took advantage of full business expensing. Following the passage of tax cuts he purchased $100,000 in new equipment and hired two new employees.

Not a single Democrat voted in favor of the tax cuts. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., – the home state of Mallea’s brewery – opposed the bill that is now helping small businesses across the state. In the November midterm election, he will need to explain to voters why he refused to support a bill that has created jobs and increased wages in Florida.               

As of 2017, there were 6,266 craft breweries in the United States. The 50 percent excise tax rate decrease has the potential to create an additional $320 million in annual economic growth. The act also lowered taxes for wineries and distilleries.

The local brewery was able to expand production by 40 percent thanks to Republican tax cuts. Everyone, including Nelson, should raise a glass to that.

Increased production isn’t the only perk of tax cuts. Breweries are using the benefits to focus on expanding distribution.

Mike Cuddy, owner of Ghostface Brewing in North Carolina, purchased new equipment and hired new employees following the passage of tax cuts. He also said he was going to use the tax break to increase distribution to local supermarkets and restaurants.

Local breweries rely on strong production and distribution operations for their success. When entrepreneurs like Cuddy are able to expand it means more money in the local economy and more drinks in the hands of consumers.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included a provision specifically geared towards relieving the tax burden on craft beverage producers. The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act lowered the federal excise tax by half on the first 60,000 barrels for breweries making less than 2 million barrels per year, a category in which most small U.S. breweries fall.

As of 2017, there were 6,266 craft breweries in the United States. The 50 percent excise tax rate decrease has the potential to create an additional $320 million in annual economic growth. The act also lowered taxes for wineries and distilleries.

Gray Skies Distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan has been able to expand production specifically because of the craft beverage-friendly provision. The tax cuts mean local entrepreneurs can use their resources for growing their business and hiring workers.

Steve Vander Pol, co-founder and head distiller at Gray Skies, said "we're talking thousands of dollars every quarter that we're saving, and obviously for someone on this sized scale to write a check that's reduced by 80 percent is pivotal. It's been huge for us."

Democratic Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters of Michigan joined the rest of their party and opposed the tax cuts. Despite their “no” votes, the Republican bill has provided tremendous benefits to the economy and small businesses in Michigan.

If the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been huge for breweries, imagine how great it’s going to be for consumers.

There’s nothing more American than spending a weekend afternoon at the grill, on the lake, or at a beach surrounded by your family and friends with a cold brew in your hand. Even our Founding Fathers celebrated the tradition of brewing, distilling, and fermenting their favorite adult beverages.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon was one of the largest American distilleries of its time. Thomas Jefferson was one of the biggest advocates for American wine production. Sam Adams has a beer named after him.

It was Benjamin Franklin who supposedly said, “in wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria." During your summer festivities have a glass of wisdom or freedom and say cheers to the Republican tax cuts.

Abigail Marone is a communications associate at Americans for Tax Reform. Follow her on Twitter: @abigailmarone