Senator Zeldin Applauds Governor’s Swift Action on Bill to Keep NY’s Craft Beer Flowing

Lee M. Zeldin

July 18, 2012

Ronkonkoma, NY- State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) commended Governor Cuomo today for signing into law his legislation (S.7728/ A.10695) to protect and expand New York’s craft brewing industry.

In March, as the result of a Supreme Court ruling, an unexpected and significant tax burden was placed on New York brewers. This decision unfortunately struck down an important excise tax exemption for our craft breweries.

With two local craft breweries in his district, Blue Point Brewery and Brickhouse Brewery, and more to come online later this year, Senator Zeldin worked quickly to create a bi-partisan coalition with Governor Cuomo, legislative colleagues and craft breweries. On June 14th, an agreement between the Senate, Assembly and Governor Cuomo was announced to provide brewers with a tax credit and bottle label exemption.

On June 18, 2012, the State Legislature passed Senator Zeldin’s legislation, which the Governor approved today. Any brewery that produces 60 million or less gallons of beer in New York would be eligible for a refundable tax credit applied against New York State personal income and business taxes. The credit amounts would be 14 cents per gallon for the first 500,000 gallons produced in New York, and 4.5 cents per gallon for the next 15 million gallons produced in the State.

The legislation will also exempt breweries that produce brands of 1,500 barrels or less annually (regardless of location) from the $150 annual brand label fee. This exemption, which will be eligible to brewers in and outside of the state, will save New York breweries tens of thousands of dollars, and will help smaller breweries retain the capital they need to grow their operations and create jobs.

"It is critically important to do everything in our power to help New York's craft brewers succeed. This industry has thrived and expanded over the past decade while other industries have suffered and jobs have been lost. That’s why I, as the original Senate sponsor of this legislation, am extremely pleased that Governor Cuomo has signed this legislation to keep New York’s craft beer flowing,” said Senator Zeldin.

“This legislation is exactly what our New York economy needs,” Senator Zeldin concluded. “It will enable brewers large and small, from Blue Point Brewery in my district, to Matt’s Brewery in Utica, to continue to expand and grow, create jobs and keep the price of New York's craft beer competitive."