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State OKs tax breaks for craft breweries

Rochester Business Journal
June 14, 2012

Craft breweries producing no more than 60 million gallons of beer will be eligible for tax credits of 14 cents a gallon for the first 500,000 gallons made in New York and 4.5 cents for the next 15 gallons, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.

The tax breaks are part of an agreement reached by state legislative leaders to offset the loss of exemptions eliminated as a result of a lawsuit filed by a Massachusetts brewer.

New York is home to at least 90 craft breweries, accounting for thousands of jobs and more than $200 million in economic activity each year, Cuomo said.

“New York’s craft breweries are not just creating great beer that is consumed across the world, they are creating jobs, supporting farmers and our hops growers, and bringing tourism jobs dollars all across the state,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The legislation will exempt craft breweries—within and beyond New York that produce no more than 1,500 barrels of beer annually—from an annual brand label fee of $150, Cuomo’s office said. It also will establish a farm brewery license allowing craft brewers using New York products to operate similarly to New York’s farm wineries by establishing restaurants and with retail provisions for beer, wine and liquor.

The legislation exempts farm breweries, wineries and distilleries from costly and burdensome tax filing requirements.

“New Yorkers across the state will soon be able to know that the fresh Made in New York beer they enjoy this summer is made from ingredients grown and produced in this state, benefiting our local communities and small businesses,” said Assembly member Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, in the statement.

“These measures are a win-win-win for our state’s recovering economy, the craft brewers who will benefit from a lower tax burden and consumers across the state who want to buy fresh and buy local, including when it comes to beer.”

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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