For Immediate Release: Distillery Contact: M Paluzzi
July 26, 2019
Falls Church Distillers llc Goes to Capitol Hill to Urge Support for Spirits Tax Cut Bill
--Meets with Rep. Don Beyer’s office to discuss issues impacting small craft distillers--
Washington, DC – Michael E Paluzzi of Fall Church Distillers was one of more than 150 craft distillers from around the country who gathered in Washington, D.C. from July 22 through July 24 for the distilled spirits industry’s 10thAnnual Public Policy Conference, co-hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA).
The conference featured a series of legislative and regulatory sessions on key federal and state issues impacting the distilling industry. As part of the conference, Michael E Paluzzi participated in congressional visits with representatives of Senators Warner and Kaine and the Congressional offices of Beyer, Spanberger, Griffith, McEachin, Riggleman, Wexton, Connolly, Scott and Cline to urge support for the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (H.R. 1175/S. 362). This critical legislation makes permanent a federal excise tax cut on distilled spirits and was enacted in 2017. Without Congressional approval, the tax cut for distillers will expire on December 31, 2019.
Paluzzi also discussed the harm that retaliatory tariffs on spirits exports are having on American distillers, large and small, and the importance of (his/her) distillery to the economic development of the surrounding community.
“Meeting with Rep. Beyer’s Legislative Correspondent was a highlight of the conference,” said Paluzzi. “I expressed to Ms. Rubinger the importance of making the tax cut on distilled spirits permanent. The reduced tax rate has had a major impact on my distillery enabling me to hire more staff and invest in more product stock. It was impactful to share with Rep Beyer’s office how this bill will continue to help my small distillery grow, as well as the devastating impact on my business if it does not pass.”
Conference speakers included: Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), co-sponsor of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (S.362); Senator Rob Portman (R-OH); Senator Jon Tester (D-MT); Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau officials; and Carl Hulse, New York Times chief Washington correspondent.
“This is a historic moment for our industry as more than 150 distillers from 33 states descend on Washington to rally further support for this critical, urgent legislation,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO, American Craft Spirits Association. “Without permanent and immediate Federal Excise Tax reform, the stability of this vibrant industry, and the industries that surround us – agriculture, tourism and the broader hospitality industry – are bound to be paralyzed."
“These distillers delivered a unified message to legislative leaders on Capitol Hill at a critical time,” said Chris Swonger, President and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the national trade association representing producers of distilled spirits sold in the United States. “The federal tax cut on spirits is set to expire at the end of the year and the negative impacts of the retaliatory tariffs against U.S. spirits products are mounting.”
Distillers who attended the conference also had opportunities to showcase their craft spirits at a “Meet America’s Distillers” reception on Capitol Hill for lawmakers and a “Spirits of America” reception for journalists at the National Press Club.