Today, at Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he is joining more than 20 bipartisan colleagues to introduce legislation that will cut the excise tax on small breweries in half, helping small brewers across New York reinvest in their business, hire new employees, and revitalize downtown communities. Currently, brewers pay a $7 excise tax for the first 60,000 barrels they brew per year. Under the Small BREW (Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce) Act of 2013 that Schumer introduced, that rate is slashed to $3.50 per barrel, resulting in potential savings of $210,000 per year for that brewery. The bill also cuts the tax by $2 on the next 1,940,000 barrels produced, resulting in potential savings of $3,880,000 each year. This totals over $4 million in potential annual savings for these brewers. The Lake Placid brewery produces about 6,200 barrels per year, and allowing small breweries like this one to reinvest in their companies is good for the surrounding communities, as many build state-of-the-art structures or renovate existing buildings, preventing blight and creating good-paying jobs.
Under the BREW Act, Lake Placid Pub & Brewery would save $21,700 per year in taxes, which it could put straight back into the company in the form of new hires or expanded business. Lake Placid Pub & Brew adds tremendous value to the region, helping draw tourists to the area each year, and any expansion of its production would help build on that trend, explained Schumer.
"Small breweries throughout Upstate New York like Lake Placid Pub & Brewery not only brew great beer, they also pour jobs into the community," Schumer said. "By cutting taxes for these small businesses, we can help grow the economy and put more New Yorkers back to work in stable, good-paying jobs. Breweries are the crown jewels of so many of our communities, and many of them have renovated charming old buildings in downtowns across the state. Putting more money back into these businesses will be good for economic development, good for jobs, and good for Upstate New York."
"For Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, which is a tourist attraction for visitors from around the region, any expansion in production could mean more "Lake Placid' labels reaching customers in New York and around the Northeast, encouraging them to visit the Brewery and enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Placid. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery is just one more reason on a very long list to visit Lake Placid," continued Schumer.
After touring Lake Placid Pub & Brewery in Essex County, Schumer announced the Small BREW Act alongside Chris Ericson, the owner and operator of the brewery, Congressman Bill Owens, Robi Politi Supervisor of the Town of North Elba, Craig Randle, Mayor of the Village of Lake Placid, and James McKenna, President of the Lake Placid Visitors Bureau. Congressman Bill Owens is a cosponsor of the House companion to Senator Schumer's bill (H.R. 494) and a member of the House Small Brewers Caucus.
"This legislation cuts taxes on an important group of small businesses, letting entrepreneurs reinvest their profits into their breweries and employees," Congressman Owens said. "This legislation makes sense economically, it will help brewers make more beer, and, most importantly, it will help create and sustain local jobs in a quickly-growing industry."
Any brewery that brews fewer than 6 million barrels of beer per year is eligible for the tax cut that will allow brewers to reinvest in workers, new equipment and new space as they expand their business. This tax cut would save small brewing companies over $17 million nationwide this year.
Senator Schumer joined Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and colleagues on both sides of the aisle in support of the Small BREW Act of 2013.
The approximately 2,400 small and independent breweries across the country combine to generate more than $3 billion in wages and benefits, and pay more than $2.3 billion in taxes annually. In New York, the beer industry directly supports approximately 8,000 jobs through brewing and distribution, and nearly 60,000 jobs overall when retail sales are factored in. These jobs paid $2.1 billion in wages in 2010, and accounted for $5.3 billion in economic activity. A Harvard study of the proposal predicts that passage of the proposal would increase economic activity in the small brewery sector by $153 million in the first year and almost $865 million over the first five years. Every dollar saved by cutting the excise tax would result in nearly $11 dollars in economic activity, providing an immediate and substantial boost to the economy. According to the study, the proposal would generate over 5,200 new jobs in the first year, and an additional 400 jobs going forward annually.
Schumer noted that the BREW Act would save Lake Placid Pub & Brewery $21,700 upfront, with more potential savings if they expand production. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery expects to increase its current annual production of 1,200 barrels to 1,400 barrels by the end of year. The company also brews an estimated 5,000 barrels per year at a partner facility in Utica, NY. Beyond the direct benefit to the brewery, Schumer explained that Lake Placid craft beers are an additional selling point for the region, which is a year-round tourist destination, attracting 2.3 million overnight visitors annually. The success and sale of Lake Placid beers around the Northeast could help draw even more tourists to the area.
In 1996, two college friends purchased P.J. O'Neill's, a pub in the small Adirondack village of Lake Placid and opened Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery brew all bottled beer at FX Matt Brewing in Utica, NY. This partnership has allowed them to expand both their product line and the areas where their beer is available. Their beer is currently available in all of New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery have brewed almost 80 different styles of beer and almost 300,000 pints of beer annually, placing them in the top 7% of brewpubs nationwide.