The bill also extends several beneficial provisions for small brewers that were included in the 2017 tax reform law
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, announced that the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies funding bill has been signed into law. The legislation included a total of $18.5 million for breweries in Maine and across the country,
“Maine is home to the best craft brewers in the country. In addition to producing exceptional beer, they are a major contributor to our state’s economy and a significant source of jobs,” said Senator Collins. “I worked to secure significant wins for Maine’s small brewers in the new tax law and to provide this important extension, and as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I fought for additional funding that will continue to assist Maine’s more than 135 breweries in the appropriations package.”
Provisions championed by Senator Collins to benefit Maine’s craft beverage industry include:
· A 1-year extension of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA) — Senator Collins is a cosponsor of the standalone bill, which reduces taxes, compliance burdens, and regulations for brewers, cider makers, vintners, and distillers. The reduced excise taxes were set to expire at the end of this year after being included in the tax reform law Senator Collins voted for at the end of 2017.
· $15 million—a $5.5 million increase—for U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative, which enhances the product safety and supply of barley and wheat. The goal of the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative is to develop as quickly as possible effective control measures that minimize the threat of Fusarium head blight (scab) to the producers, processors, and consumers of wheat and barley.
· $3.5 million—an increase of $1 million —for the Small Grains Genomic Initiative, which funds important barley, oat, and wheat research to improve quality and breeding.
Earlier this year, Senator Collins met with members of the Maine Brewers Association. During the meeting, the members expressed their support for CBMTRA, which Senator Collins co-sponsored. According to the Maine Brewers’ Guild, craft beer contributes $260 million to the Maine economy.