SAN RAFAEL, Calif., May 25, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alcohol Justice released a new report today that shows that the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform act of 2017 (CBMTRA) - S.236 / H.R. 747 - is deceptive and will benefit Big Alcohol at taxpayer expense.
"This dishonest federal measure is being portrayed as an incentive for small craft brewers," stated Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO of Alcohol Justice. "But the real winners are the largest beer and spirits producers in a race to cut their already ridiculously low tax rates."
According to the Alcohol Justice report, if signed into law, the measure would result in:
- At least $321 million dollars in lost excise tax revenue
- $177 million dollars to the distilled spirits industry
- $50 million to Big Alcohol "craft" brewers producing over 2 million barrels annually. Tax giveaways strongly favor huge brewers ($50 million to 37 breweries producing 2‑6 million barrels, versus $76 million to 4,910 brewers producing < 2 million barrels)
- $18 million lost in an evisceration of tax incentives meant to promote lower-ABV wine
The report notes that federal alcohol excise taxes have not been raised since 1991, and that this failure to maintain a responsible level of taxation with an inflation index not only costs the government up to $7 billion per year, it also strips away an effective means to control alcohol use through price increases. Researchers estimate that doubling the federal excise tax would result in a 35% decrease in alcohol-related mortality, an 11% reduction in deaths from automobile crashes, and measurable drops in sexually transmitted infections, violence, and crime. CBMTRA Big Alcohol tax cuts will instead increase all alcohol-related harms.
Conversely, increasing alcohol excise taxes can be used to directly ease and offset the estimated $249 billion in U.S. annual costs from excess drinking including 88,000 deaths, alcohol-related car crashes, violence, chronic illness, and lost productivity. Lost revenue from CBMTRA tax cuts represent lost opportunities to promote health and safety of alcohol drinkers and could pay 70% of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) annual budget, or 57% of the Veterans Administration expenditures on substance abuse treatment.
"In light of the persistent failure of the federal government to proactively address alcohol harms, the CBMTRA would be a poor choice in any year," added Livingston. "We encourage the public to TAKE ACTION and tell their leaders in Washington, D.C. to stop subsidizing Big Alcohol and VOTE NO on the deceptive measure."
Visit the Alcohol Justice Alcohol Tax Calculator at AlcoholJustice.org for more information on increasing federal and state revenue from raising alcohol taxes.
CONTACT: Michael Scippa 415 548-0492
Jorge Castillo 213 840-3336
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SOURCE Alcohol Justice