It’s good to see local governments getting behind the craft brewing industry. New York recently signed legislation that will help small business owners, but more specifically will help brewers and the farmers that support the brewing process. The bill works by easing tax burdens on small breweries.
The package of laws will keep a tax benefit for small breweries intact and exempt them from paying an annual State Liquor Authority fee. Breweries that produce 60 million or fewer gallons of beer in New York will be eligible for a refundable tax credit applied against State personal income and business taxes. In addition, breweries producing brands of 1,500 barrels or less annually will be exempt from paying the $150 annual brand label fee.
“In addition to producing some of the finest beer in the world, New York’s craft breweries are creating jobs, supporting our state’s farmers and hops growers, as well as bringing in tourism dollars in local communities across New York,” [Governor] Cuomo said. “The legislation demonstrates that the new New York is truly working for small business, as this law will allow breweries and wineries the opportunity to invest in new opportunities and expand their operations.”
The legislation also includes the creation of the new “Farm Brewery License,” which encourages small breweries to diversify their business in the same way that much of the wine industry has, by allowing them to add retail outlets, open restaurants, hold tasting sessions, and sell beer-related products. The stipulation is that until the end of 2018, the beer must be produced using at least 20 percent locally grown hops and 20 percent of the rest of the beer’s ingredients must be grown or produced in New York State. These percentages are slated to increase in the future.