Beer Barons Hopping Mad at Micro Brewer Tax Break

Beer Barons Hopping Mad at Micro Brewer Tax Break

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A battle is brewing between small craft breweries and major beer companies, including Anheuser Busch and Miller Coors over legislation that would lower taxes on smaller producers and microbreweries.
Federal beer excise taxes on breweries producing less than two million barrels a year would be cut in half, from $7 a barrel to $3.50 a barrel under a “Small BREW Act” bill introduced last month by Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa. The bill already has 61 co-sponsors from both parties.

Currently, that $7 tax hits the first 60,000 barrels produced each year. After that, they pay $18 per barrel. Under the proposed legislation, that second-tier tax would be lowered to $16 per barrel.
Small brewers estimate that lowering the tax could lead to another $60 million in consumer spending that can boost the economy and help create jobs. Big beer companies say the legislation is unfair and call it a “handout.” -  Read more at The Hill

HEALTH REFORM‘S PRICE TAG: $1 TRILLION IN NEW TAXES   Under President Obama’s signature health care law “consumers will face higher insurance premiums, insurers will see a 32 percent increase in medical claims costs, and almost everyone in the upper middle class or higher will pay a slew of new taxes,” The Fiscal Times’ Eric Pianin writes. The new law will bring in about $1 trillion new tax revenue between 2013 and 2022, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated. -  Read more at The Fiscal Times

HOW GAY MARRIAGE CAN REDUCE THE DEFICIT    The CBO released a study in 2004 “claiming, “In some instances, recognizing same-sex marriages would increase [federal] outlays and revenues; in other cases, it would have the opposite effect….On net, those impacts would improve the [federal] budget’s bottom line to a small extent: by less than $1 billion in each of the next 10 years.” The economic benefits of legalizing same-sex marriage don’t stop with the federal budget. State economies could experience a nice little boost as well. “A study by the Williams Institute at the University of California published in Stanford Law and Policy Review in 2005 estimated that “the California state budget will benefit from an annual net gain of approximately $123 million during the first three years it extends marriage to same-sex couples – approximately $41 million per year.” -  Read more at The Fiscal Times

ARE OUTDATED LAWS DRIVING UP SPENDING?     Philip Howard, author of  The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America and founder of  the bipartisan reform coalition Common Good, thinks so. In an interview with The Fiscal Times’ Liz Peek, Howard said the U.S. should eliminate old regulations that cost taxpayers millions and perpetuate pointless programs. He notes that we are the only developed country that does not have a system to clean up laws.

 For example, Peek writes, “The government is paying survivor benefits to two descendants of Civil War vets, and 10 relatives of Spanish-American War participants. Taxpayers are still supporting the 1,000 employees and $578 million budget of the Rural Utilities Service, originally founded to make sure Americans living in the sticks had access to electricity.”  -  Read more at The Fiscal Times     

STUDY: DOW 30 ENJOYS DECLINING TAX BURDEN    A new Washington Post analysis shows that companies listed on the current Dow 30 are paying dramatically less in federal taxes than they have in the past. In the late 1960s and early1970s, their federal tax expenses were roughly 25-50 percent of their profits worldwide. Now, most are reporting less than half that-even with the Dow at an all-time high, the Washington Post’s Jia Lynn Yang writes.  -  Read more at The Washington Post

WORKING ON THE RAILROAD    “Welcome to the revival of the Railroad Age,” The Wall Street Journal’s Betsy Morris writes. “North America's major freight railroads are in the midst of a building boom unlike anything since the industry's Gilded Age heyday in the 19th century. This year they are pouring $14 billion into rail yards, refueling stations and additional track. “With enhanced speed and efficiency, rail is fast becoming a dominant player in the nation's commercial transport system and a vital cog in its economic recovery,” according to the report.  -   Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.