The Board of Directors of the United States Association of Cider Makers (USACM) recently met in Washington, DC, to gain support for the Cider Investment and Development through Excise Tax Reduction (CIDER) Act.
Board members met with Congressional members from across the country in support of the proposed legislation on Capitol Hill, and followed the visits with a hard cider reception and tasting, where invitees got to sample fine craft hard ciders from around the United States.
The CIDER Act (H.R. 600) was introduced by U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Chris Collins (R-NY); and the senate version (S.1459) is sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). Current federal tax law restricts the ability of American hard cider makers to innovate and compete in the global marketplace. The CIDER Act updates these rules so they conform to international standards, reflect the reality of the industry, and make compliance less costly and more predictable for this developing land-based industry.
The act will amend a portion of the tax code concerning wine and related beverages in order to provide hard cider producers flexibility in the final product without an increased tax liability. Hard cider is classified by its composition and alcohol content, and depending upon the fermentation process the alcohol content and carbonation of hard cider can vary. Current federal classifies hard cider as a beverage not exceeding 7% alcohol by volume before it is considered a wine and a certain level of carbonation before it is taxed like a champagne.
“Our meetings were very productive and we left a favorable impression on the folks who represent us on Capitol Hill,” Mike Beck of Uncle John’s Hard Cider Company and USACM board president said. “We are encouraged that Congress will act on this common-sense, job-creating proposal and unlock the potential of this great industry.”
Source: USACM news release