Rep. Collins and Local Officials Highlight Legislation to Improve Local Cider Industry
Congressmen Chris Collins (NY-27) issued the following statement after holding a press conference touting the importance of H.R. 600, the Cider Industry Deserves Equal Regulation (CIDER) Act. The CIDER Act would amend the section of the tax code that deals with wine and related beverages, 26 USC § 5041, to support the growing number of craft and entrepreneurial cider makers, and tailor IRS rules to reflect variations in craft ciders across the country.
“I am proud to introduce legislation that will support our nation’s apple growers and cider makers,” saidCongressman Collins. “The CIDER Act will help spur growth in these industries by restructuring taxes to fairer rates that take into account the natural variations in the cider making process. I want to thank State Senator Funke, Town Supervisor Marren, the Victor Chamber of Commerce and Blue Toad Hard Cider for joining me today.”
“The beverage industry is a major contributor to our local economy and I’m proud to say that our region is making some of the best wines, beers, spirits, and ciders anywhere,” said New York State Senator Rich Funke (R-C-I, Fairport). “It’s our job to give employers in this growing sector the tools they need to succeed, which is why I’ve supported several bills to cut taxes and red tape for cider producers. I’m grateful that the CIDER Act will do even more at the Federal level and I thank Congressman Collins for helping to tap into cider’s potential to create jobs and attract investment in our area.”
“The CIDER Act will cut red tape and encourage the continued growth of the cider industry both here in upstate New York and across the nation,” said Greg Booth, Partner, Blue Toad Hard Cider. “Once enacted, this legislation will generate good paying jobs and help our company expand. We look forward to working with Congressman Collins and thank him for his efforts in introducing this vital legislation.”
“The Victor Chamber of Commerce has noted the boom in the micro-brewing, cider, and distilling industry over the past several years,” said Mitch Donovan, Executive Director, Victor Chamber of Commerce. “As a direct result of that we added a signature event designed to promote this important industry. The spring Food & Brew Fest has grown from 3 vendors to 25 vendors mirroring the explosive growth of our local craft beverage industry. As we spoke with our vendors we realized that Congressman Collins and our regional governmental representatives were working to support this expanding market segment, as demonstrated by the introduction of the CIDER Act. This prompted us to develop a giant “Thank You” note for Congressman Collins signed by vendors attending our Food & Brew Fest and we look forward to presenting it to Congressman Collins this weekend.”
During the fermentation process, a variety of factors can lead to small changes in the composition of a cider’s alcohol content and carbonation. Because of the narrow way that hard cider is currently defined in the tax code, these small variations can lead to cider being taxed at a rate fifteen times higher than what the statute clearly intended. The bill introduced by Congressman Collins and Congressman Blumenauer (D-OR) would update the tax definitions to greatly reduce the chance that improper taxation could occur. The bill would also broaden the definition to include both pear and apple ciders.
The changes proposed by Congressmen Collins and Blumenauer will update the existing federal definition of cider to better reflect the industry and keep American cider competitive in the international marketplace. Production nationally has been robust, more than tripling from 9.4 million gallons in 2011 to 32 million gallons in 2013. Cider revenues in the U.S. have been just as impressive, tripling from $178 million in 2007 to $601 million in 2012.
Full text of the legislation can be read here.