WICHITA FALLS (KFDX KJTL) — Last year, the craft beer industry contributed nearly $79 billion to the US economy, but breweries across the country are now concerned federal tax breaks they’ve received over the last two years will be no more if Congress doesn’t extend them.
The owners of Nocona Beer and Brewery are hoping Congress doesn’t let the tax cut expire at the end of the year because it gives brewers a $3.50 tax break per barrel.
They said it has done wonders for Nocona Brewery allowing them to save money to be put back into their business.
In 2017, Nocona Beer and Brewery owner Ken Kolmeyer raised a glass to the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which lowered the federal excise tax on brewers who make less than 2 million barrels of beer each year.
“The impact on craft brewerys on this although important. Doubling it is going to create a nightmare for everybody our margins are slim to nothing as it is,” Kolmeyer said.
Officials with the beer institute said it also helped the industry grow substantially over the last two years.
“Allowed them to spend the money innovating in their brewery, rehabbing their physical plants, building out their physical plant,” Beer Institute official Jim McGreevy said.
“It adds jobs and visibility for smaller communities and amazingly this becomes a focus-point and attracts more and more people not just from Nocona and not just from working but as a destination,” Kolmeyer said.
With the nationwide tax credit set to expire to December, Kolmeyer is already changing some of the ways he does businesses, just in case.
He believes if many other breweries don’t find ways to adjust—many more will go bankrupt.
“We are really the only brewery in the state that has done that where the owner of the recipes doesn’t have anything to do with the alcohol and he gets paid a small percentage of our gross sales,” Kolmeyer said.
In the meantime, Kolmeyer is watching closely to our nation’s Capitol hoping Congress will act before the taps run dry.