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Beer tax fixed: Tennessee governor signs beer tax reform bill into law

April 23, 2013 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Distribution, Government

Fix the Beer TaxTennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today signed a bill into law that will reform the state’s beer wholesale tax that has contributed to the state having the highest beer taxes in the nation.

The so-called Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013 —  the subject of a statewide “Fix the Beer Tax” campaign — had been approved by Tennessee’s Senate and House of Representatives and was awaiting Haslam’s pen.

Proponents hope the new law will spur craft beer entrepreneurs to open businesses or expand their current ones in Tennessee, help contain increases in beer prices and improve the variety of beers on shelves and taps. The campaign drew statewide support from every level of Tennessee’s beer industry, from large brewers such as Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors to craft brewers and beer wholesalers.

Instead of the present 17% tax on the wholesale price, the bill revises it to instead impose a volume tax of $35.60 per barrel of 31 gallons of beer sold. The tax upon barrels containing more or less than 31 gallons would be taxed at a proportionate rate.

The “Fix the Beer Tax” coalition, which lobbied for passage of the law, was being spearheaded by the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild and Tennessee Malt Beverage Association.

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