Legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer hopes to change the labeling and taxing of hard cider and pear cider.
The Cider, Investment & Development through Excise Tax Reduction (CIDER) Act, seeks to raise the permissible alcohol by volume in hard cider from 7% to 8.5%. Schumer, in a conference call, said that the alcohol content of New York’s hard cider varies greatly due to sugar content, and is often taxed at a higher rate due to a current law and labeled as a wine. He adds that the additional taxation adds financial burden to producers and consumers.
This legislation also addresses the Internal Revenue Code and additional federal tax issues relating to the carbonation levels in hard cider, and would align the definition with that of the European Union, so producers are better equipped to compete as exported products.
“New York is the second largest apple producer in the country, and there’s no doubt it should be at the core of the hard cider industry, which is rapidly growing in popularity,” said Schumer. “However, current federal tax rules make it extremely costly for producers and consumers alike to produce, market, and sell this product, which could prevent New York’s hundreds of apple growers and hard cider producers from fully benefiting from the stable income that comes with this new product. That is why I’m pushing a plan that will modernize the definition of hard cider in the federal tax code, to ensure that all products can be labeled and taxed for what they actually are, all while increasing New York cider producers’ ability to compete overseas. If we don’t move quickly to support and grow this blossoming industry in New York, other states will soon worm into this market,” he said.
For more on this story, visit http://www.schumer.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=341010&.