A recent agreement among state government leaders is a victory for small business.
Leaders agreed on legislation that will strengthen and help grow the state's craft beer industry.
New York's craft brewing industry currently consists of more than 90 breweries, accounts for thousands of jobs and supports more than $200 million in economic activity each year, according to Gov. Cuomo's office.
The legislation is designed to support breweries and wineries, increase demand for locally grown farm products and expand industry-related economic development and tourism. The legislation will protect a tax benefit for small breweries that produce beer in New York, exempt breweries that produce small batches of beer from paying an annual state Liquor Authority fee, and create a farm brewery license that will allow craft brewers to expand through opening restaurants or selling new products.
Under the agreement, any brewery that produces 60 million or less gallons of beer in New York will be eligible for a refundable tax credit. The credit amounts would be 14 cents per gallon for the first 500,000 gallons produced in New York and 4.5 cents per gallon for the next 15 million gallons produced in the state.
The legislation will exempt breweries that produce brands of 1,500 barrels or less annually from the $150 annual brand label fee, saving breweries tens of thousands of dollars.
The legislation will allow farm breweries to sell state-labeled beer, wine and liquor at their retail outlets. In addition, farm wineries will be permitted to sell state-labeled beer for off-premises consumption. The legislation allows farm breweries to obtain licenses to operate restaurants, conference centers, inns, bed and breakfasts or hotels on or adjacent to the farm brewery. In addition, farm breweries could sell beer-making equipment and supplies, food complementing beer tastings, souvenir items and other related products.
In order to receive a farm brewery license, the beer must be made primarily from locally grown farm products.
We hope the new legislation will encourage entrepreneurs to start craft breweries in our region.