Senate tax bill has breaks for films, brewers, and jets

A handful of industries are toasting the Senate Finance Committee's passage of $1.5 trillion tax cut legislation for individual provisions benefitting brewers, film producers, and citrus growers. 

The Finance Committee reported its version of the tax cut bill on a 14-12 vote Thursday, setting up a floor vote next week as Senate leaders race to get a final bill done by Christmas.

Beer and wine 

In addition to sweeping provisions on corporate taxes and individual income tax rates, the Senate tax bill has provisions to benefit large and small brewers.

Large brewers would see a cut in the centuries-old beer excise tax from $18 per barrel to $16 per barrel.

Large brewers would see a cut in the centuries-old beer excise tax from $18 per barrel to $16 per barrel. They are one of several industries that got special provisions in a Senate tax cut bill

Large brewers would see a cut in the centuries-old beer excise tax from $18 per barrel to $16 per barrel. They are one of several industries that got special provisions in a Senate tax cut bill

Small craft brewers, part of a burgeoning market trend, would see the tax drop from $7 per barrel to $3.50 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels they produce.

'We think this is going to be a shot in the arm for an industry that has been around the United States for hundreds of years,' Jim McGreevy, CEO of the Beer institute told DailyMail.com.

He said the provision, backed by Republican Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Rob Portman of Ohio, has the support of 55 senators and 297 House members, giving it a good chance of survival if the Senate bill advances to be negotiated with the bill the House passed Thursday.

Small craft brewers would see the tax drop from $7 per barrel to $3.50 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels they produce. Pictured is Cisco Brewery on Nantucket Island

Small craft brewers would see the tax drop from $7 per barrel to $3.50 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels they produce. Pictured is Cisco Brewery on Nantucket Island

The barrel room at Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales December 29, 2016

The barrel room at Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales December 29, 2016

The provision was one of a number that were released around midnight when Senate Finance chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah released the latest bill.

'Many of these are small business so any little bit helps in terms of being able to build their businesses,' said McGreevy, though big producers like Anheuser-Busch (ABInBev) also benefit, as do beer and wine importers.

The lower $16 per barrel tax for large brewers would apply on the first 6 million barrels produced by the brewer or importer.

 Films

Another provision gives the movies a shot at the 100 per cent small business 'expensing' provisions meant to goose investment by allowing industry immediate write-offs.

The latest version 'expands the definition of qualified property eligible for the additional first-year depreciation allowance to include qualified film, television and live theatrical productions.

The provision takes effect in retroactively, to September 27 of this year – but expires in six years, which keeps the cost lower unless Congress decides to extend the break.

The Joint

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