BEND, OR -- The owner of Deschutes Brewery participated in a video conference Monday, with U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). The two have co-sponsored legislation that could provide tax relief for craft brewers, cider makers, vintners and distillers.
Gary Fish, founder of Bend-based Deschutes Brewery, says excise taxes are an added burden to the industry. "We get to pay excise taxes simply based on our production. One of the features of this legislation is that it relieves a percentage of that tax burden, freeing up capital for these small entrepreneurial businesses to continue to grow."
Fish added, "Craft beer is healthy across the country and in Oregon. That's something we're very proud of. This isn't a reward for that health, this is an incentive to continue to drive this industry to greater heights; to get these businesses to invest more money back into their businesses. Really, this is something that the cost is nominal, the benefit is substantial."
Senators Wyden and Baldwin took to Google and YouTube for a “Happy Hour Hangout” to discuss the economic benefits of their “Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act.” Senator Wyden said, "In Oregon alone, craft beverage makers contribute $6 billion and 40,000 jobs to Oregon's economy. That is not exactly small potatoes." And, Fish says, the industry is growing. "Oregon has the honor of leading the nation in terms of craft beer production. I think a total of 20% of the beer consumed in Oregon is now produced by Oregon craft breweries."
To watch the full discussion, click HERE