Kerry: Beer bill would ease brewers tax burden

May 12, 2010

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BOSTON—U.S. Sen. John Kerry says he wants to give the country's 1,500 small beer makers a tax break.

Kerry introduced a bill to the Senate on Wednesday that would reduce the excise tax for small breweries from $7 to $3.50 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels of beer produced each year.

For every additional barrel up to 2 million, the bill would lower the excise tax from $18 to $16.

Massachusetts is home to 40 small beer manufacturers including Sam Adams, the country's largest small brewery.

Republican Senators Mike Crapo of Idaho and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon are co-sponsoring the bill.

Reps. Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Kevin Brady, R-Texas, introduced the bill in the House in December.

The small brewer tax rate hasn't been updated since 1976.

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