Tax Breaks for NY Brewers

Tax Breaks for New York Breweries

SOUTHERN TIER (WENY) – Southern Tier breweries are applauding a new tax law in the Empire State.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation providing tax credits for small breweries, replacing an excise tax exemption struck down by a lawsuit.

Any brewery that produces 60 million or fewer gallons in New York will be eligible for a refundable tax credit applied against state personal income and business taxes.

The state has more than 90 breweries.

Farm-based breweries will be able to open restaurants.

The law exempts breweries producing brands of 1,500 barrels or less annually, even breweries outside New York, from the state's $150 annual brand label fee.

“The tax burden would have been higher. 14 cents more per gallon, so that would have been a hurdle for us to grow,” says Ken Mortensen of Upstate Brewing Company.

“Actually I just sent a check into the state liquor authority for $3,000. It's an annual fee, so that's going to go bye-bye. That's three thousand dollars in our bank account,” says Ed Smachisen of Horseheads Brewing Inc.

“The state is starting to recognize craft brewers, the federal government is starting to recognize it, and what I think they did is the right thing on this one and they're making sure we're going to stay viable and in business,” says Dan Mitchell of Ithaca Beer Company.

The law also establishes a license to allow craft brewers using New York hops to operate like wineries, which can sell products directly from their own retail outlets.

They will be able to sell each other's products as well.