The Fix the Beer Tax coalition, a function of the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild, local distributors, and many other interested parties, is holding their next informational rally at the Standard in downtown Nashville. The event is to be held Mar. 11 starting at 5 p.m.
The goal of the event is to highlight the highly unusual way Tennessee taxes beer, by price rather than by volume. Tennessee is one of only two states to tax in this manner. Kentucky, the other tax by price state, still has tax rates nearly half of Tennessee taxes. In fact, Tennessee can lay claim to the title of highest beer tax rate state in the country. Not really something that brings a sense of pride.
The Fix the Beer Tax Campaign, the kickoff event which was held at Yazoo Brewery on Jan. 30, has since had similar, wildly popular, events in Memphis, Knoxville, Johnson City, and Chattanooga. This time the event is to be held at the steps of the state capital. They will also highlight and promote the Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013.
The Beer Tax Reform Act has been put forward by Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and Rep. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). The very simple goal of this proposal is to simplify the state tax code, and bring it into line with 48 other states, by basing the beer tax on volume rather than price.
Based on the current code, a craft brewer or small microbrewer will pay as much as fifty percent more in taxes by barrel, compared to a national macro brewer, simply because of the nature of the product and size of the company.
It shouldn’t take much imagination to picture one of our great locals such as Yazoo, Blackstone, or Jackelope, creating great local craft beer, one batch at a time. Their process is very hands on with incredible attention to detail. They deal with hop allotments, shortages, and production limitations. Their passion is as true craftsmen, with the goal of making great beer to please their customers. Just an appreciative clarification, however, in that Jackelope was founded by two women, Robyn and Bailey. A follow up appreciative note in that Intern Steve joined the Jackelope team as a partner.
The Standard is located at 167 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. It has an over one hundred year history of hosting the biggest power players in Nashville, both celebrity and political, in a discreet and subtle environment. It was recently voted as one of the five best cigar bars in the country.
Once again we have a chance to rise up and influence policy. This one seems so simple, it is hard to imagine that it lacks support. If you can, slide on out and support this noble cause.
See you at the pub. Cheers!