When the federal excise tax was doubled in 1991 three breweries closed, one located in Fulton, and across the nation 60,000 jobs were lost. Should the state excise tax more than double, the future of the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Baldwinsville is questionable, putting more than 800 jobs at risk.
It is not sound public policy during a recession to implement taxes that would eliminate jobs and seize small-business growth, the very businesses that have created about 70 percent of new jobs nationally. Members of the New York State Beer Wholesalers Association are all third- or fourth-generation, family-owned small businesses, investing in their local communities and providing solid wage-earning jobs and paid benefits to their employees. Implementation of this tax will jeopardize the wholesaler’s ability to continue to provide such benefits.
On average, 40 percent of the cost of each beer is made up of taxes. There is no arguing the state needs to balance the budget and seeks revenue to do so but assaulting the middle market with hidden taxes and burdening industry will only compound the debt issue.
—Steven W. Harris
President, New York State Beer