Already negatively affected by import tariffs, Pennsylvania breweries are now rising up against a proposed state sales tax on taproom products, writes Jason Scott for Lehigh Valley Business.
The pressure on breweries started earlier this year following tariffs implemented by the Trump Administration on steel and aluminum imports. Breweries that package their beer in cans have already seen their costs rise by 10 percent, with further increases expected from the brewing trade war.
Now, the state’s Department of Revenue plans to levy a six percent sales tax on all taproom products, including on-site draft beers and six-packs sold to go.
According to revenue officials, the tax is in response to the state’s 2016 liquor reforms. This gave breweries the opportunity to sell to a larger pool of customers, including wineries, distilleries, and other breweries.
However, the plan has not been well received by brewers.
“This is the single most concerning issue we’re facing right now,” said Rob Metzger, co-founder of Chatty Monks Brewing in West Reading.
Collection of the new sales tax was set for Jan. 1. However, thanks to lobbying efforts by the Brewers of Pennsylvania, this has now been pushed back to at least July 2019.
Read more about the proposed taproom tax in the Lehigh Valley Business by clicking here.